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Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach is a perfect Autumn comfort food.  This easy and flavorful recipe is packed with veggies and will become your favorite Fall and Winter family weeknight dinner!

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach and creamy Parmesan Sauce

Butternut Squash Pasta –  Seasonal and Holiday Main Course

Butternut squash pasta is one of those recipes you would probably make only in the Fall and Winter when the butternut squash is in season.  Which makes this pasta so much more special!  It’s so good I hope you will be looking forward to making it every year!  My other favorite butternut squash pasta dish that I highly recommend is butternut squash and spinach lasagna.

This easy pasta is also a great holiday main course.  If you want to expand your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu, add this colorful and flavorful butternut squash pasta to your holiday menu!  Another fantastic holiday recipe is Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries.

Why Make Butternut Squash Pasta

This butternut squash pasta is one of those rare pasta recipes that combine both comfort food deliciousness and healthy ingredients. This pasta is surely comforting yet it’s packed with fiber and nutrients.  A perfect family weeknight dinner!

  • Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as well as several minerals, including magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Butternut squash is also rich in dietary fiber.
  • Spinach is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It’s high in fiber and a good source of many vitamins and minerals. Spinach is a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as folic acid, iron, and calcium.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach and Parmesan Cream Sauce

How To Make Butternut Squash Pasta

Ingredients

  • Bow Tie Pasta. This recipe uses an Italian pasta, called Farfalle, or bow tie pasta. The bow-tie shape of this pasta works very well with the cubed butternut squash and add an appealing look to your dinner. Cook bow-tie pasta al dente for best texture.
  • Butternut Squash. This wonderful vegetable is known for its subtly sweet and nutty flavor. In this recipe, butternut squash is roasted with olive oil and acquires a nice soft texture on the inside with a little crunch on the outside.
  • Sausage. If you have a spicy sausage somewhere in your fridge or a freezer, this is the recipe to use it! Spicy sausage will blend exceptionally well with sweet and nutty butternut squash and creamy pasta sauce.  Use crumbled sausage without casings.  Any type of pork sausage, spicy sausage, or Italian sausage will work!
  • Spinach. Spinach adds flavor, texture, and colorfulness to this pasta dish.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

How to Roast Butternut Squash

For everything you need to know about roasting this fantastic vegetable, refer to my recipe on how to roast butternut squash.

The butternut squash should be peeled, seeded, and cubed.  You can do it yourself or buy cubed butternut squash in the store.   Tip: If you peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash ahead (or bought cubed squash in the store), you can store it refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.  Use cubed butternut squash within 2 days.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine butternut squash with 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Toss together.
  3. Then,  spread the squash on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer.   Make sure the butternut squash is not overcrowded.  This way the air can circulate around the squash in the oven and the squash roasts properly instead of steaming. Roasted this way, without overcrowding, will give squash a slightly crunchy texture on the outside.  This will ensure that the squash is roasted and not steamed.
  4. Roast the squash in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.

How To Make Creamy Pasta Sauce

While the butternut squash is being roasted, prepare the cream sauce.

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil together with 4 minced garlic cloves and 6 oz of spinach.  Cook on medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the spinach starts to wilt.
  2. Add heavy cream.  Bring to boil and immediately reduce to a low or medium boil.
  3. Add shredded Parmesan cheese while the sauce simmers, constantly stirring.
  4. Season with salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Note: No salt is necessary if the sausage is very salty.

Cook Sausage

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add crumbled sausage and cook for about 10 minutes, regularly stirring, until the sausage is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

How Long to Cook Pasta

  • Usually, the pasta is cooked in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Always check the cooking time on the package instructions for precise times of cooking pasta.
  • To prepare any pasta al dente, cook pasta in boiling water for 8 minutes, or for 2 minutes less than indicated on the package instructions.

Assemble the Pasta

  1. Add drained cooked pasta and cooked sausage to the creamy spinach sauce in the skillet. Stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Top with roasted butternut squash.  Stir it in, or leave butternut squash on top.

Tips on Making Pasta Ahead

Make-ahead Tip: Roast butternut squash up to 2 days ahead. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use. Reheat it briefly in the microwave (for about 30 seconds) before adding to pasta. Or, just add to the creamy pasta sauce, stir it in and reheat in the cream sauce.

How to Store, Freeze, Reheat Butternut Squash Pasta

  • Refrigerate. Store leftover butternut squash pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze. You can freeze butternut squash pasta in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
  • Reheat. Reheat the pasta gently on the stovetop in the skillet over medium heat, stirring halfway through. Add extra milk or heavy cream to thin out the sauce.

It’s always best to serve bow tie pasta (or any pasta) al dente. That’s when the pasta texture is at its best. Storing cooked pasta for a day or two will cause the pasta to lose its perfect texture, however, it will still taste great.

Also, keep in mind that the cream sauce when refrigerated loses its texture and becomes thick. To reheat it the next day, reheat over medium heat and add extra milk or heavy creamy when reheating to thin out the sauce.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Substitutions

  • Pasta.  Use any type of short pasta.  That includes farfalle (bow-tie pasta), penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or orecchiette.  You can also use gnocchi.
  • Spinach.  This butternut squash pasta will work equally well with spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or arugula.  Pick the greens of your choice, add them to the pasta, and enjoy!
  • Sausage.  Use crumbled sausage without casings.  Regular or spicy pork sausage (such as Jimmy Dean brand) is a great choice.    Crumbled Italian sausage or spicy Italian sausage is another excellent option.
  • Cheese.  Use shredded Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, or Asiago.  You can also use shredded low-moisture part-skim Mozzarella cheese.  Do not use soft Mozzarella cheese balls.
  • Cream.  If you don’t have heavy cream, you can use half-and-half instead and add more shredded cheese to thicken the sauce.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Other Butternut Squash Pasta Recipes

Butternut squash is an amazing vegetable that pairs beautifully with pasta, whether the squash is roasted or pureed.  Here are some delicious butternut squash pasta recipes to explore:

What to Serve with Butternut Squash Pasta

5 from 16 votes

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Spinach and Sausage

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Prep Time

30 mins

Cook Time

40 mins

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach is a perfect Autumn comfort food.  This easy and flavorful recipe is packed with veggies and will become your favorite Fall and Winter family weeknight dinner!

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American, Italian

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 759 kcal

Author: Julia

Ingredients

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 2 cups butternut squash , peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Sausage

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 lb sausage , crumbled, without casings

Creamy Pasta Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 6 oz spinach
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pasta

  • 8 oz farfalle (bow tie pasta)

Instructions

Roast Butternut Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

  2. In a large bowl, toss cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

  3. Spread the squash on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in one layer, without overcrowding. 

  4. Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Cook Sausage

  1. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.

  2. Add crumbled sausage and cook for about 10 minutes, regularly stirring, until the sausage is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Tip: Cook the sausage while the butternut squash is being roasted.

Make Creamy Sauce

  1. In a separate, large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil together with minced garlic and spinach over medium heat.  Cook, occasionally stirring, for about 5 or 7 minutes until spinach starts to wilt. 

  2. Add heavy cream.  Bring to a brief boil, then immediately reduce to simmer (boiling but not intensely).  Add shredded Parmesan cheese.  Keep stirring the sauce with the Parmesan cheese on low to medium boil (simmer) until the cheese melts. Remove from heat.

  3. Season with salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  No salt might be necessary if the sausage is very salty.

  4. Tip: Use your judgment about whether to add salt or not based on how salty the sausage is. Make the cream sauce while the butternut squash is being roasted.

Cook Pasta and Assemble

  1. Cook pasta al dente in boiling water according to package instructions. That usually means cooking pasta in boiling water for about 7 to 11 minutes. Drain.

  2. To a large skillet with the creamy spinach sauce, add drained cooked pasta and cooked sausage. Stir. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 

  3. Top the pasta with roasted butternut squash.  Stir the squash in, or leave it on top.

Nutrition Facts

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Amount Per Serving

Calories 759 Calories from Fat 459

% Daily Value*

Fat 51g78%

Saturated Fat 22g138%

Cholesterol 128mg43%

Sodium 703mg31%

Potassium 807mg23%

Carbohydrates 55g18%

Fiber 4g17%

Sugar 3g3%

Protein 22g44%

Vitamin A 12411IU248%

Vitamin C 28mg34%

Calcium 235mg24%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Source

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