When I was thinking about what to write for my first post, I thought...what better way to start this off than with some yummy goodness! So, let me introduce you to fall on a plate: Roasted Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Spinach Pasta. If you live in the South or somewhere in Texas like me, you have probably been dreaming of fall and wishing it would stop by for a visit or better yet to stay. Over the weekend the weather here felt a little like fall. It was amazing! I not only got to throw on a light sweater and leggings, but I was also inspired to make a dish that had all the flavors I love at this time of year. That's a win, win situation in my book! We are definitely pasta lovers in this house and we usually eat it at least once a week. I love making pastas that taste decadent, but that are actually pretty light and good for you. This pasta is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, rich and light tasting all at the same time. Your taste buds will be doing a little happy dance! The butternut squash creates a silky sauce that makes you think you are eating something too good to be good for you. So good, that I might have eaten a few bites when I woke up the next morning while my hubby was still asleep. I am pretty sure the dogs were on to me from the start, hoping to get a taste too!
Here is the recipe:
- 1 lb Whole Wheat Pasta (whatever shape is your favorite)
- 1 Butternut Squash
- 2 tbs of Fresh Sage
- 1 lb Italian Spicy Sausage (you can use chicken or pork)
- 4 cups of Baby Spinach
- 1 Shallot
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- Heaping Spoonful of Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees for roasting your squash. With a sharp peeler, peel your butternut squash, seed it, and then dice into chunks. Place the diced squash on a baking sheet with two tablespoons of olive oil and a good amount of salt and pepper, toss and coat well and then roast for about 45 minutes. Let the squash cool for just a bit.
The next step is to brown your sausage in a large skillet with half of the chopped sage, and then once its brown you will want to remove it onto a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess fat. While sausage is browning, chop your shallot and garlic into a fine dice and then add to skillet after the sausage is removed. If you need a little extra fat for sautéing you can add a little olive oil. I didn't need any extra and used what was still in the pan from the sausage. Go ahead and get a large pot of water boiling for the pasta while your veggies are cooking.
By now, your squash should be cool and you will need to place it in a food processor or a blender to puree. To this puree you will add a good heaping spoonful of the Greek yogurt and additional salt and pepper and puree again until smooth and creamy. Once your water is boiling for your pasta add a good handful of salt to the water (this is your only chance at seasoning the pasta, so don't skip this step!) Add in pasta and cook until al dente.
Once your veggies are translucent, add your sausage back in along with the spinach and stir well. After the pasta is cooked, reserve a couple of ladles full of the pasta water to use to thin out the sauce and then drain the pasta. Add pasta in with the sausage and veggies and then add in your pureed butternut squash mixture. Stir together and add a little pasta water at a time until it is the right consistency for you.
Top with Parmesan cheese and the remainder of the fresh sage for garnish and eat to your hearts content! The results in my house were clean plates, full bellies and Amos's sad puppy eyes asking for just one bite...
p.s. I am so excited to officially have a blog and I hope that you all will enjoy reading it as much as I am going to enjoy sharing with you! Please hang in there with me while the site is still under construction and I am still a newbie when it comes to this whole adventure of blogging!