Butternut squash is like the ugly friend a pumpkin brings to parties to feel more pretty. Except that it is not ugly...it is f'ing delicious. And when you just can't pumpkin the shit out of anything anymore, try using this squash in a dish. You'll be glad you did.
I made this pasta dish up literally because I had a bag of kale I was intending on eating in salads all week, but I mean, salads...f--- that, and I had one sad link of Italian sausage in my freezer (my family has been on a eat-out-of-the-freezer kick for the better part of a month now, so this sausage needed to go).
I was all about to use pumpkin and soon realized I didn't have any. Sigh...so i ran to the store. And when i walked in there was an awesome display of squashes - like a million kinds. And I was all like, "screw pumpkin already, lets do squash this time." So I grabbed a giant awkwardly shaped butternut squash and continued through the produce section...when I came upon the bags of ready-to-use, already peeled and chopped bags of vegetables. Now, I usually whisk right past this section of the store, but there was this nice lil bag of perfectly cut, perfectly peeled butternut squash, and I looked at the gigantic whole squash in my cart...and then I took that out and put the bag in. I have long been opposed to buying the bags of ready-to-use....I have always felt like it was betraying my craft or something. But, seriously...my craft - wtf do I think I am?? I don't have a craft, I am not Paul Bocuse, I am me and I do not give a shit about my craft when it comes to peeling and chopping a big awkward squash for a quick and simple pasta dish. Get the f--k over yourself, and just like that, I was over myself. I opened the bag of butternut squash and threw them on a sheet pan with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and BOOM. Done. Like a genius - who is not Paul Bocusse or Joel Robuchon or whatever...
Bottom line...use the ready made if you want, don't if you have a craft and something to prove. Whichever way you go, this is a great fall pasta dish and you should make it. xoxo
Butternut squash, kale and sausage pasta
- One bag of ready-to-use butternut squash
- one bag of chopped kale
- olive oil
- Spicy Italian sausage
- Red pepper flakes
- one box of penne or cavatelli or whatever kind of short pasta you like cooked according to the package
- ½ cup of the pasta cooking water
- chopped fresh sage
- Preheat the oven to 425. On a sheet pan toss the butternut squash and kale in olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in oven until crisp is wilted and softened and the butternut squash is cooked through, roughly 30 minutes.
- Crumble and brown the Italian sausage in a large saute pan until crispy. Leave in the pan until the pasta is done. When the pasta is cooked, add to the pan with sausage along with two tablespoons of olive oil and the half teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Toss thoroughly and add the half cup of pasta water. If your pan is large enough, add the roasted vegetables to the pan and toss together. if it is not large enough put pasta and sausage in a large bowl and add the roasted vegetables and toss to combine. Add the fresh sage and some Parmesan to finish.