It was Mardi Gras yesterday. A day to essentially eat guilt-free before giving something up for the next 40 days. As a result, I decided to make one of my favorite new dinner recipes - Cavatappi pasta with pureed butternut squash sauce, sauteed spinach and seared chicken sausage.
1 tbsp Butter
1 Butternut Squash
Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Handfuls of Spinach
1 Package of Chicken Sausage
|Boiling squash in action!|
To start, peel the skin off the squash, cube it and throw it in a pot of boiling water to cook and soften. Once it is cooked through, use a food processor to puree the squash until it is a smooth and creamy consistency. If you don't have a food processor (like I didn't up until this past Christmas) simply mash the squash thoroughly - you will thin it out later on in the recipe.
At the same time, cook the chicken sausage in a pan with garlic for 7-9 minutes. Break the sausage apart and cut it up into large chunks as it cooks. As the sausage starts to brown, add a tsp of butter and the finely chopped shallots.
There are a lot of moving parts to this recipe and you want to be boiling the pasta in the same water that you used to boil the squash as the sausage, shallots and garlic cook. Save a cup of the water before draining the pasta as you will need it to thin the squash into a sauce.
Add the squash, spinach and sage to the sausage mixture in the pan. Stir thoroughly and sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese into the sauce. Also add the cup of pasta water that you saved as that will thin the squash into a creamy sauce. Once the sauce is heated through, pour it over the drained pasta and mix everything together.