2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Italian sweet or spicy sausages, removed from casings
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 large sage leaves, minced
12 ounces penne or similar small shaped pasta
3 cups (about 1 pound) peeled and diced butternut squash
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and
garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Crumble the sausage meat into the skillet.
Break the meat up into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
Sauté the sausage meat for about 5 minutes or until it is not longer pink.
Add the red pepper flakes and stir in the minced sage.
Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water for the time indicated on the package.
Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water; set
Add the diced squash to the sausage in the skillet and season with salt and
pepper. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook the squash until it is soft,
about 5 minutes. As the squash cooks, mash some of it with a wooden
spoon so that it breaks down a little.
Stir a ladleful of the reserved pasta water into the sauce. Add the drained
pasta to the skillet and gently stir to combine. Add 1/3 cup of Parmesan and
chopped parsley to the mixture and gently toss again. Transfer the pasta to
a serving bowl. Serve immediately, passing more cheese at the table.
This pasta recipe combines the flavors of butternut squash, Italian sausage, and sage into a
simple-to-make but delicious weeknight dinner. As the squash cooks down it forms the sauce;
so it is not an overly saucy dish. You can purchase frozen cubed squash if you wish to avoid
the work of peeling and cutting a fresh squash. Just allow the frozen cubes to thaw a little and
coarsely chop them before adding them to the skillet.