Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Weeknight Dinner: Butternut Squash and Sausage Pasta

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I walk to the train when it’s just beginning to get light outside; that is when I’m not running late, missing my alarm, or having a bad hair day, in which case I run to the train hoping that I don’t miss it.  Usually, I’m lucky, the LIRR runs later than I do.  But regardless of walking or running, there is a frigid cold that sneaks under my long coat and frosts my bones. 

By the time I get home at night (also dark), that cold has developed into a full-blown frozen bone syndrome.  John frequently comments on the coldness of my hands, which, let’s be honest, I completely use as a torture device by placing it on his face at unexpected moments.

And so it comes back to food, which warms up, not only my hands but also my soul.  I love this pasta because with the spicy Italian sausage, I feel my hands getting warm; the butternut squash warms my toes, the pasta, my soul (of course, I am Italian after all).  It’s such a creamy delight that you would never think it was healthy for you.  But it is…so warm up your soul this winter.

Butternut Squash and Sausage Pasta (adapted from SkinnyTaste)
Serves:  4
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced
8 ounces penne
4 links spicy chicken Italian sausage
1/4 cup shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons grated romano cheese

To cook the squash, add 8 cups of water to a large pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the squash cubes and cook about 6-8 minutes, until soft (depending on the size of cube).  Remove squash from the water and reserve the water.  Transfer the squash to a blender and blend until smooth.  Set aside.

Bring the squash water to a boil again and add the pasta, cooking according to package directions.  

Simultaneously, cook sausage over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet until brown.  Break up the sausage into chunks as it cooks and set aside when fully browned.  

Reduce heat to medium low and in the sausage skillet, cook the shallots and garlic until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Add butternut squash, salt, and pepper.  Add spinach and mix well.  Add the pasta and sausages and toss to combine.

To serve, top each helping with 1/2 a tablespoon of cheese.  Serve immediately.

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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