dinner recipes / fall recipes

Penne with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce, Spinach, and Spicy Sausage

My blogging hiatus has lasted a little longer than expected; fall has come and gone… Christmas lights line the Savannah skyline, I’m blaring the Elvis Presley Christmas album at any and every chance I have, and my credit line is screaming for mercy after what seems like never-ending Christmas shopping – in the words of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation —

“I don’t know what to say, but, it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery.”


Not really, for those who know me, know that I bought my tree before Thanksgiving, I was singing “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” in July, and quoting Clark Griswold any time it may or may not be in applicable in conversation.

I digress. Fall is gone but I’m still enjoying the 77 degree temperatures and some of the season’s best dishes – like this divine butternut squash number.

Penne with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce, Spinach, and Spicy Sausage


  • 1 box of whole wheat penne (Picky eaters named Jeffrey love pasta, not so much zoodles. So I started using Barilla Veggie Penne thinking I was tricking him with veggies yet again…  but then read this nifty article and  have since switched to whole wheat penne)

    Veggie Penne ⇐ the Judas of pastas

  • (1) 1 lb. butternut squash
  • (1) package spicy sausage (I used spicy chicken sausage links, but you could also use regular pork sausage crumbled.)
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. sage
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • Lots of parmesan cheese (Cause cheese is the answer to all of your problems, always.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Bring water in a large pot to a boil for penne. (Tip: add a little EVOO and salt to water when boiling noodles. Flavors noodles and keeps them from sticking together.)
  3. Peel the butternut squash (Or widdle it away for 45 minutes, like a medieval wood carver like me who misplaced my vegetable peeler. Santa, for the love of God, please bring me a vegetable peeler.)
  4. Cut the squash in half long ways and scoop out the seeds.
  5. Cut the squash into 1/2 inch cubes.
  6. Cut onion into small pieces.
  7. Toss squash cubes and onion in a little EVOO, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  8. Spread the veggies evenly on a non-stick cookie sheet.
  9. Roast for 25 minutes.
  10. While your veggies are roasting, boil noodles to al dente and drain.
  11. Let baked veggies rest for 5 minutes after roasting.
  12. While veggies are resting, slice your sausage links into thin “coins” and sautee until lightly browned.
  13. Put roasted veggies in food processor with vegetable stock, minced garlic, and sage and pulse for 1 minute until you get sauce-like consistency (add more S+P to taste).
  14. Combine drained pasta, sauce, sausage + drippings, and spinach. Stir and let spinach wilt.
  15. Serve hot with lots of parmesan cheese!

butternut squash

$$$ 10-15 dollars
¤¤¤¤ you feel comfortable with a food processor, mincing your own garlic and creating your own pasta sauces

cheers, hannah


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