Butternut Squash Spinach and Turkey Sausage Pasta Sauce

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This sauce is a delicious blend of sweet, savory, salty, and spicy.  We don’t eat pasta very often so this is a special treat dinner for us, high in protein (helped by the organic edamame pasta), but feel free to use your favorite form of pasta for this dish.

Butternut Squash Spinach and Turkey Sausage Pasta Sauce

(modification of original recipe from Skinny Taste)

Serves 6 (1 cup sauce/serving)

1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced ¾ inch

12 ounces edamame pasta

20 ounces hot/spicy turkey (or chicken) Italian sausage

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup shallots, minced (about 1 large shallot)

3 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional, adjust to your heat tolerance)

3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

4 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add butternut squash and cook until soft (about 10 minutes).  Remove squash with a slotted spoon (i.e. do not discard hot water) and place in a slightly vented blender (IMPORTANT as you need to let the heat escape); blend until smooth (you may need to add a few tablespoons of the hot water to help it blend.

Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions for al dente, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, sauté the sausage over medium heat until browned, breaking it up as it cooks.  When cooked through (about 10 minutes), set the sausage aside on a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add olive oil, shallots and garlic sautéing until soft and golden (about 5 minutes).  Add the pureed squash and season with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper (if using); mix well.  Add enough of the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce to your liking (we used ½ to 1 cup).  Add the baby spinach and stir in the cheese and sage.  Add the cooked sausage to the sauce and mix well to combine all ingredients.

Serve sauce over cooked pasta.

Nutritional Info (based on edamame pasta)/Serving:  Calories 411, Fat 13 g, Protein 42 g, Carbs 33 g

Posted in Chicken, Grains and Pasta, Recipes Tagged with: , ,

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