Farfalle with Spicy Sausage and Butternut Squash

How cold has it been in your city lately?

We've been experiencing unnaturally low temperatures for Champaign in December. Champaign has very mild winters in general, but December is usually in the 30s. After we got pounded with over 8" of snow on the 4th, we got even more snow this past weekend, followed by a few days of single-digit temps and a -16 windchill! Mmmm....terrible. I was going to gripe about how unfair it is that the weather followed me from Wisconsin to Illinois, but then Wisconsin got profoundly snowed in this past weekend (with even worse windchills!), so I can't complain too much.

All this nippiness has left me with warm food on the brain (I know--not that different than usual). This pasta has all of the qualities one looks for in a soul-warming winter dinner--spicy meat, squash, and cheesy pasta. I enjoyed it with a nice Sprecher Black Bavarian beer. By the end of the meal, I was 100% warmer all around.

Farfalle with Spicy Sausage and Butternut Squash (from Food & Wine)
-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-3/4 pound peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
-1 onion, diced
-1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed (**Hot turkey sausage works great here, and you can save some calories!**)
-12 ounces farfalle
-1/2 cup freshly ground Pecorino Romano (**I am cheap and didn't buy this...but I did have parmesan, so I used that instead.**)
-1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the squash, season lightly with salt and cook over high heat, stirring, until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the squash to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion and sausage and cook over high heat, breaking up the sausage with a spoon, until lightly browned and cooked through. Return the squash to the skillet.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the reserved cooking water and the cheese and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sauce is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, sprinkle with the parsley and serve right away.

Serves 4-6


Every Little Thing said...

I burnt myself out on butternut squash earlier this fall but that looks so good, I might have to try it out again! :)

Rich said...

We just hit a cold snap in Dallas, and that looks just about perfect right now! And, um, so does the beer ...

The Cilantropist said...

Oh I love that you put tender roasted butternut squash in your pasta, this time of year I just can't get enough of that stuff and it is SO good for you too. And enjoying it with a Bavarian Beer? yes please. :)

Swathi said...

Delicious pasta meal. I love the addition of butternut squash in them.

Lisa Marie said...

I weirdly have most of these ingredients in my kitchen already. That NEVER happens. I can't wait to make it!

Roxan said...

Heather this is such an elegant and beautiful dish. I would love to have a plate of this for lunch or dinner today, it would always be welcome at my table. I'm so sorry to be hearing about the terrible weather over there! I bet it's wonderful to have a white christmas... but not at -16 degrees. I hope the sun comes out with some warmth soon.

Christine Wu said...

The snow storm has passed Seattle (hopefully will not be back...) but it's been really windy and rainy. Funny thing, I have all the ingredients except the farfalle! Might wanna make this with different type of pasta.... now my belly is grumbling!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Would you believe I've never cooked with butternut squash? I'm kinda daunted by it. But this pasta looks so good, I may be forced to give the ol' squash a go! :)

Heather said...

@EveryLittleThing - It's worth busting out the tired squash again if you're in the mood for sausage. :)

@Rich - *Definitely* drink the beer with it. ;)

@Cilantropist - 100% agreed. Last night, Greg and I were like, "Why aren't we eating more squash?! Sooo goood...omnomnomnom!"

@Swathi - Thanks!

@Lisa - That is the oddest of coincidences! I think it's clearly a sign. ;)

@Roxan - Thank you! The weather sucks, but we'll manage. We're hearty Wisconsin folk. ;)

@Christine - I'm a little late on responding, but this will definitely take just fine to most types of thick/short/chunky pasta shapes. I hope it turns out well for you!

@Azmina - What?! You need to get thee to some butternut squash, chica. You are missing out! The only pain in the ass bit about butternut squash is peeling it...but that only takes 5 solid minutes, then you're good to go! It's so naturally light and sweet. I will also refer you to my other favorite pasta recipe use for it, Baked Goat Cheese & Roasted Winter Squash over Garlicky Fettuccine. http://prettypeasrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/11/baked-goat-cheese-and-roasted-winter.html

Victoria said...

Great winter comfort recipe! I can't believe it's so cold there, but I've heard it gets pretty cold in those parts :) I'm in NYC and it's been pretty freezing here too, especially since you walk around so much in the city, eek!

Joanne said...

It has been absolutely OBSCENELY cold here in NYC! So yes, I could use a warm bowl of this fabulous pasta thank you very much! Sausage and butternut squash were made for each other!

Susan said...

There is NOTHING like a good pasta dish on a cold winter's night! Bookmarked! Thanks for the easy yumminess!

Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having said...

We got hit by a ton of snow earlier this week, and now its FREEZING! I wish I had some of your pasta to warm up with.
I've got a blog award for you at my site, hope you'll stop by to pick it up!

aipi said...

that sounds like such a comfort food, love it.

US Masala

theUngourmet said...

I have a butternut squash on my counter right now that needs a yummy recipe to call home. This looks terrific!

Mother Rimmy said...

Very pretty dish, and so simple! Perfect weeknight meal, yet impressive enough for company.

SnoWhite said...

Wow -- what a delicious and colorful dish.

MyMansBelly said...

This looks so good. I could definitely curl up with a bowl of that right now. Even if it was for my breakfast.

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