Pasta with butternut squash, sausage and sage

Adapted from Faith Durand’s recipe (served at her wedding!) at TheKitchn.com. Faith goes an extra step and pan-fries her pasta, but it’s also easy to simply toss and eat. Pan frying is an inspired way to heat leftovers, which is great because this recipe makes a huge amount.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (poultry or pork)
  • 1 pound short pasta (farfalle or other short pasta)
  • 4 ounces high quality Parmesan, shredded or shaved (about a cup total)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice the ends off the butternut squash and stand on thick end. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the strings and seeds the middle cavity. Flip the squash halves upside down and peel with a vegetable peeler (wear gloves if the raw squash rind irritates your hands.) Cut squash into 1-inch cubes and place in large mixing bowl.
  2. Toss squash cubes with diced onion, minced garlic, a few glugs of olive oil and salt and pepper. Mince about half of the fresh sage leaves and mix in with the squash.
  3. Spread the squash mixture in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is soft.
  4. Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. The oil is ready when it pops and sputters (don’t let it start smoking). Drop in the rest of the sage leaves and fry for about a minute, or until they begin to just shrivel up. Remove with a slotted spoon and salt lightly. Crush with the back of a spoon.
  5. Remove sausage meat from casings, if necessary, and cook in skillet until well browned, pushing down with a large spoon to break up the meat.
  6. Heat salted pasta water to boiling and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and toss in a very large bowl or pot with roasted squash, sausage and half the cheese (see notes for optional pan-fry step). Garnish with crumbled sage, additional cheese and an extra grind of pepper.

Serves 4-6.

Notes

  • If you need a tutorial, Simply Recipes has a great step-by-step on peeling and cutting butternut squash.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit sausage and top with toasted pine or other nuts.
  • Optional: Pan fry pasta in olive oil, as Faith does. Adds an extra layer of flavor and crusty texture. It’s a great way to re-heat the pasta, or if you prepare it a bit ahead of time for guests, you can pan fry right before serving.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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