The butternut squash gives this pasta it’s sunny disposition.
There are several variations of the “pureed squash as sauce” pasta out in the recipe blogosphere – and I love every single one. I think I started with Rachael Ray’s pumpkin pasta. They are all about the same: sauté some veggies, add squash pureé with some kind of liquid, spice to your liking, toss with pasta and cooked sausage if desired, cover with cheese. I love it because you can do it simple and fast with a canned pureé or take it up a notch by roasting everything and giving it a whirl in the blender for deeper flavors.
I have found canned butternut squash pureé (and it’s awesome) but it’s hard to find sometimes so I did it this time with fresh butternut squash. I spent $8 on pre-peeled and cubed squash and it was worth every penny because I hate peeling a squash. I just have this feeling that if I ever lose a finger, it will be the result of a squash-peeling incident. If your Sprouts or whatever doesn’t have over-priced pre-cubed squash, just cut it in half, seed it, and roast it in the peel. Then you can scoop it into the blender when it’s soft.
A lot of people will add milk and cream to make this a rich and creamy pasta, but lactose intolerance had me looking for an alternative. If I’m gonna get sick on milk, it needs to be more worth it than some pasta dish. (Ice cream!) Instead, I loosened the sauce with a little chicken broth and added some coconut milk to make it creamy and add a little hint of sweetness.
For the pictures, I fried some whole sage leaves. While delicious and crispy, it was kind of a pain in the ass and they are super easy to burn. But, if you can perfect the fried sage thing it’s delicious with this dish!
Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage
- 2lb cubed butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic (un peeled)
- 1lb fusilli or other pasta (boiled al dente)
- 1lb italian or breakfast sausage (removed from the casings)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (give or take)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (give or take)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (plus more for garnish if desired)
- 1 yellow or red onion (diced)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan (plus more for sprinkling)
|Preheat the oven to 375 F and toss the cubed butternut squash in the olive oil with a little salt and pepper. Spread out the squash on a baking sheet, toss the unpeeled garlic cloves on there and roast until the squash is tender, about 30-45 minutes.|
|Meanwhile, get your pasta boiling. When it's al dente, drain and set aside. Heat a dutch oven or other large pot over medium high heat and add the sausage. Cook until the fat starts to render out some, then add the diced onion with a little salt (just enough to make the onion sweat) and cook everything until it starts to turn a little brown and crispy. Set aside on warm until the squash is finished.|
|When the squash is done, add it to a blender or food processor and add the garlic (you can squirt the garlic out of their peels), minced sage, the chicken broth and the coconut milk. Blend until smooth. If the sauce is thick, add a little more broth or coconut milk. You want it to be creamy, but not too thick.|
|Finally, toss everything together in the warm dutch oven with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Garnish with more chopped sage and parmesan if desired.|
Non-game substitution: Any sausage!
Vegetarian substitution: No sausage!