Sunday, April 26, 2015

Skillet Butternut Squash, Sausage and Penne Pasta

This doesn't have the most flavor of any dish, but it was pretty homey and yummy.
Butternut Squash Skillet Dinner
Photo Credit to Mel's Kitchen Cafe
1 large shallot (or 1/4 cup minced yellow or white onion)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 pound chicken sausage (if links, remove the casing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth {I used 6ish}
12 ounces penne pasta
3 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
3 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach
2 large sage leaves, torn into small pieces, or 1/4 teaspoon dried, more or less to taste
1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded or cubed fontina or mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan for serving, if desired

In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, combine the shallot, garlic, sausage, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces, and cooking until the sausage is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Scrape the mixture to a plate and return the skillet back to the heat.
Add the chicken broth and pasta and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking and the pasta clumping together. Stir in the squash and simmer 5-7 minutes longer until the squash and pasta are both tender. As the squash breaks down, it will help bring a creaminess to the sauce and pasta so add more liquid, if necessary, while cooking if the mixture seems dry.
Stir in the spinach and sage and cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add the sausage/shallot mixture back to the skillet and stir in the fontina or mozzarella cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.
Off the heat, cover the skillet with a lid or foil and let the pasta sit for 5-10 minutes. Give it a good stir and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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