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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recipe for Butternut Squash and Chicken Apple Sausage Pasta

Well, we're back from a long vacation and visits to see family.  After weeks of very little cooking, it's hard to get back in to the groove but I'm trying!  I thought I had misplaced my mojo for looking at what's in the pantry/fridge and throwing something together but I was pleased with how this turned out. Even though we don't have a real "Fall" here on Maui, cooking with butternut squash always makes me feel like we do. 

I did think, after the first bite, "this would be even better with some bacon in it."  That sort of reflects where my taste buds are right now!  Actually, it was just fine without bacon.  I mean, it has the chicken apple sausage in it!  I might try next time subbing some bacon, maybe turkey bacon, for the sausage.   

Servings: 4-6
Time: 55 minutes

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut in to small cubes, about 7 cups
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ pound whole grain rotini pasta
  • 2 chicken apple sausages, cut in to small cubes
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup finely diced shallots
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 TBSP cumin (more or less to your taste)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss squash in enough olive oil to lightly coat, season with salt, pepper, and 1 ½ TBSP cumin; spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until browning, stirring 2-3 times.
  • Meanwhile, apply a light coat of olive oil to a saut√© pan over med/med-high heat.
  • Add pecans, shallots and sausages and remaining cumin.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until browned.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • While pasta cooks, let squash cool briefly then put 2/3 of the squash in a food processor.
  • Process squash until smooth.
  • Mix together the pureed squash, drained pasta, sausage mixture, and remaining cooked squash.
  • Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and fill with mixture.
  • Top with cheese and place under a broiler for 4 minutes until cheese is melting and beginning to brown. 
This was filling without being a heavy pasta dish.  It's good to be back home for a while and I hope my mojo is really with me!