Butternut squash is sort of like the middle child during the Fall months. Pumpkin and apples always seem to take the spotlight. Squash is one of my favorite vegetables now-a-days because it is so creamy and delicious. I love it seasoned with a combination of sweet brown sugar and a dash of spicy chili powder. Roasting vegetables always brings out its natural sweetness so the brown sugar just enhanced all of those flavors. When paired with the other ingredients, it just screamed Fall! Although recently it feels more like Winter than Fall here in New England. This dish has creaminess, richness and it’s hearty – everything you need to satisfy the COLD in you.
I had some really great inspiration to help me create this recipe. Simply Scratch is a really fun blog to peruse in general. Laurie’s pictures make you want to reach through the screen and sit down with her family for dinner. Al Fresco chicken sausages are really great for weeknight dinners. They are already cooked so you only need to take the time to heat them through. Plus, they are packed with flavor! I chose the Spinach and Feta variety for this dinner but other yummy ones I’ve tried in the past are Roasted Pepper & Asiago, Sweet Apple and Sweet Italian. Just ask me and I can give you a different recipe for one of those. You’ll notice in the recipe that I bought pre-chopped butternut squash and mushrooms to save myself some time. This will knock at least 10-15 minutes off your total cooking time. AMAZING when you don’t start cooking dinner until 7:30pm on a Monday.
- 2 cups butternut squash, pre-cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 8 oz chopped mushrooms
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of rosemary
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 12 oz (4 links) Al Fresco Spinach & Feta chicken sausage
- 8 oz (1/2 lb) fettuccine or any pasta of your choice
- 4 oz fresh baby spinach
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2-4 oz crumbled feta cheese (depending on your love for cheese)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil, preferably non-stick. In a large bowl, combine cubed squash, mushrooms, 2 tbsp olive oil and the next 4 ingredients (through brown sugar). Spread on prepared baking sheet. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, turning halfway through, until squash is tender. Remove from oven, keep warm. Refrain from burning your fingers because you tried eating a few pieces straight off the baking sheet.
- In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Toss spinach with the hot pasta to wilt it down and set it aside. Meanwhile, slice sausage into small slices. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add sausage and cook for 5-8 minutes, until crisp on all sides.
- In a large serving bowl combine your main ingredients (pasta, squash, mushrooms, spinach). Stir in the reserved cooking water, butter and feta cheese. Toss together until butter is melted. Serve immediately. Serves 2 with leftovers.
I am submitting this dish to Presto Pasta Nights. It is a weekly blogging event that was started by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast over 3 years ago! Our host this week is Theresa of the Food Hunters Guide. Thanks for hosting Theresa! Tutti Mangia!
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