Spicy chicken sausage is the perfect compliment to this creamy pasta dish made with butternut squash, baby spinach, parmesan and a touch of sage. It's filling and comforting on a chilly winter night.
Since making Spaghetti with Creamy Butternut Leek Sauce a few weeks back, I am officially hooked. I love how the butternut squash feels like a decadent creamy sauce without the need for heavy cream. And with the addition of parmesan and hot sausage, the end result is savory and delicious.
I am also loving Giada's new line of organic pastas sold at Target. I'm picky with my pasta and love the taste and texture of this pasta when cooked al dente. I always go for unusual pasta shapes, here I used a shape called casarecce... love!
As part of the Target Inner Circle, I got to meet Giada in person a few weeks ago at Fun and Fit in the City. Isn't she beautiful!
|L-R, My daughter Karina, Me, Giada, My girlfriend Raquel|
She was so sweet in person, I also got an autographed cookbook and a goody bag full of her new food products sold at Target. My favorites were of course the organic pastas. I tried a few shapes, but plan on going back to Target to try the whole wheat.
Pasta with Spicy Sausage, Baby Spinach and Creamy Butternut Sauce
Servings: 5 • Size: 1 1/4 cups • Points +: 9 pts • Smart Points: 9
Calories: 362 • Fat: 8 g • Carb: 55 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 20 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 419 mg (without salt)
- 11 oz (4 links) spicy chicken Italian sausage
- 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp light butter
- 10 oz casarecce, or pasta of your choice
- 1/4 cup shallots, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh shaved parmesan cheese
- 4 sage leaves, sliced thin
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, blend until smooth.
Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving at least 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, sauté sausage over medium heat until browned, breaking up with a spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, set aside on a plate.
Reduce heat to medium-low and melt the butter, sauté the shallots and garlic until soft and golden, about 5 - 6 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water (I used about 1 cup) to thin out the sauce to your liking. Add baby spinach and stir in parmesan cheese and sage.
Toss in cooked pasta and sausage and mix until well coated.
Serve with additional parmesan cheese on the side if desired.
Makes about 6 cups.