Butternut Squash Pasta with Spicy Chicken Sausage and Spinach
I first got the idea to make a butternut squash-based pasta sauce from Skinnytaste.com and this recipe adapted into dairy-free over time. As with all recipes of mine, I love this one because it’s fast and easy, but most of all it has that comfort-food feel. Using a more nutrient-dense pasta, like one made with chickpeas (I like Banza brand) or lentil, also means added protein, so you can forego any meat/protein for this dish if you want. Personally, the spicy chicken sausage adds a nice savory taste to the sweet butternut squash, but you do you.
3 cups Butternut Squash - I just use a package of pre-diced from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods (and if we’re being honest here, I don’t measure it out, so 3 cups is my guesstimate)
½ Yellow Onion diced
1-2 Garlic Cloves
1 tsp Oil for sauteing
1 cup Raw Cashews
2 cups Unsweetened Cashew Milk - I like Califia Farms
Handful of sage roughly chopped
Spicy Italian or Cajun Chicken Sausage - 1 link cut into 1” coins per person
2-3 cups Spinach
Shredded parmesan (optional)
Pink Himalayan Salt & Pepper to taste
Sauté diced yellow onion, garlic and sage in 1 tsp of oil - I use olive oil but any will do - until tender.
Boil butternut squash in a pot of water on the stove - this usually takes about 10 minutes. I pull one piece out with a slotted spoon and use a fork to see how easy it is to mash the peice. If it’s easy to mash, then it’s ready to be transferred to my Ninja food processor (any high-powered blender will do).
Don’t dump the boiling water! Once you transfer all the butternut squash to your blender/food processor using a slotted spoon, add the pasta noodles to the already boiling water.
Add to the food processor your sautéed onion, garlic, sage, and add cashews and cashew milk, and blend well.
Add your sausage links to a pain and brown on both sides.
Drain your pasta noodles and return to the pot.
Add the butternut squash sauce to the pot and mix in your spinach - the heat from the cooked food will start to soften your spinach.
The sauce makes enough for 4 people, so I pour half into a glass container and freeze for future use, then add the sausage links.
Plate and top with shredded parmesan, Himalayan salt and pepper.