Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Pasta with Sausage and Butternut Squash
I would like to take a few minutes to introduce you all to my new favorite pasta dish. Oh yes - its a fave and that is saying a lot coming from a major pasta lover like myself. I never would have thought of throwing butternut squash into my pasta before but the other night I was looking to use some squash I had and I already had planned on pasta for dinner - and well it all just came together. Picture the spiciness of the Italian sausage combined with the sweetness of the butternut squash - so good! To top it off I added come Mexican Cotija cheese. It added the right amount of saltiness and tang to this dish. The only sauce in this dish was a little pasta water added to the sauteed butternut squash and sausage mixture and that was all it needed. The flavors were able to shine through without being covered up by a lot of sauce. Of course, in true Food and Crafts fashion, I needed my spice so I added some crushed red pepper to mine and then it was perfect. And guess what? Little Man (you know the picky eater who won't eat a veggie) tried the butternut squash after us begging and begging him to and he liked it!! Try this one tonight - just do it you'll like it - I promise...enjoy!
recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping
What you need:
1 medium (about 1 3/4 pounds) butternut squash
3/4 pounds Italian-sausage links, casings removed
1 package (16-ounce) bow tie pasta1/3 cup(s) (plus additional for garnish) packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (the original recipe calls for Parmesan)
salt and pepper
*a splash of chicken stock
What you do:
Cut butternut squash lengthwise in half; discard seeds. Peel squash and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. Set aside.
In a nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned, about 7 minutes, stirring often to break up the sausage. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage to bowl; discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet.
Meanwhile, cook pasta as label directs in boiling salted water.
To drippings in the skillet, add the chunks of butternut squash, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Cook, covered, over medium heat, about 10 minutes or until squash is tender, be sure to stir it occasionally.
Drain pasta, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the butternut squash add back in the sausage, and reserved pasta water. Season to taste with salt and pepper andt op with cheese, toss to combine.
*I used the stock to deglaze the pan while cooking the sausage as well as the squash this is totally optional of course.
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