This is a great meal when you are looking for something comforting but not trying to eat a 1000 calorie, cream-laden bowl of pasta. The pureed butternut squash makes the sauce creamy without adding any dairy and I used Barilla Plus pasta, which has added fiber and protein (and tastes much better than whole wheat pasta in my opinion!). It is also great leftover for lunch!
Sausage, Spinach and Butternut Squash Pasta
Recipe base from Skinny Taste
8 oz. pasta (I used penne)
4-5 links of spicy italian turkey sausage (chicken or pork would work too!)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopping red onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (the pre-cut and peeled kind at the grocery store works great)
2 cups baby spinach
3 tbsp grated parmesan
5-7 sage leaves thinly sliced
Red pepper flakes to taste
Heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Remove the casing from the sausage and cook sausage until browned through, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. While sausage is cooking, boil a large pot of water and cook the butternut squash until soft enough to easily stick a fork in it - about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the squash and place in a blender, keeping the water boiling for the pasta. Cook pasta according to the package instructions. If you can remember (I never do!!) reserve one cup of pasta water before you drain the pasta. Season the squash with salt and pepper and then puree it. I needed some water to get the squash to actually puree, so add a little if you need it. Remove sausage once cooked through and set aside. In the same pan, add the oil and cook onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the pureed butternut squash, spinach and parmesan into the pan and stir until spinach is wilted. Add sage and stir again. Add sausage and pasta and combine until the whole pan of is heated through. I topped mine with some red pepper flakes and another sprinkle of parmesan. Enjoy!