bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Friday, January 9, 2015

Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Pasta Skillet

I had half a butternut squash and a bunch of spinach that really needed used before we went away for several days in December.  I really don't like throwing away food that I spent good money on, and, while the butternut would be fine, I didn't think the spinach would be any good by the time we got back.  So, I went searching for a recipe to use it and found this one.

We loved it!  My husband says we should have this on a regular basis, and my son liked it so much he wanted the recipe so he could make it for himself.  I'd say that's a success.  Even better, it's really simple and all cooks together in one skillet.

Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Pasta Skillet
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound chicken or turkey sausage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage, more or less to taste
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, combine the onion, garlic, sausage, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces, and cooking until the sausage is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Scrape the mixture onto a plate and return the skillet back to the heat.
  2. Add the broth and pasta to the skillet and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the squash and simmer 8-10 minutes longer, or until the squash and pasta are both tender. As the squash breaks down, it will help bring a creaminess to the sauce and pasta. If the mixture begins to seem too dry, you can add more liquid as needed.
  3. Stir in the spinach and sage and cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add the sausage mixture back to the skillet and stir in the Mozzarella cheese.  Add salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Remove skillet from heat, cover and let the pasta sit for 5-10 minutes. Give it a good stir and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

So good! I adjusted the recipe slightly since I didn't have as much butternut as the original recipe called for. (I used the other half of the squash in this yummy Butternut and Potato Bake)  I just used a bit less sausage, broth, and pasta, but I used my whole bunch of spinach.  I used 3 homemade sausage patties which were actually part beef and part chicken and already cooked.  I just thawed them, cut them up and browned them with the onion and garlic. I didn't really weigh them to see how much sausage I was actually using, but the balance was pretty good.  I think you can use anywhere between 1/2 lb. to 1 lb. depending on your preference and what you have on hand.

Be sure to dice the butternut small so that it cooks quickly, in the time it takes the pasta to cook.  You want it to get nice and soft, and then it thickens the sauce nicely.  I did not think this needed any additional salt and pepper at the end, but that may depend on the sausage and/or broth you use, so just taste and judge for yourself.  I did put a little fresh ground pepper on mine along with some Parmesan, and that was perfect.

Now I need to buy some more butternut squash and spinach!

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