Fall Brown Butter, Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta
An ideal Sunday night in the fall consists of red wine and a flavorful pasta dish. With so many different ways to make a pasta and sausage dish, my all time favorite is Frankies Spuntino’s Cavatelli with Hot Sausage and Browned Sage Butter. So when NY Times featured their version when we had both sage and butternut squash sitting in our fridge waiting to be used, I was inspired to follow it and as usual, give my own spin on the recipe.
Though the recipe didn’t call for any garlic, I thought it could only make it better. I used sweet instead of hot Italian sausage, and also used less butter than The Times recipe called for.
I was thrilled with the results in flavor and cooking was easy. Definitely something I will consider making if we have friends over for Sunday dinner. We served the dish with a simply dressed side salad (arugula, lemon/EVOO, pinch of salt and some pepper).
(1 Lb) Orecchiette Pasta
(1/4 C) Reserved Cooking Liquid
(2) Garlic Cloves, chopped
(1 Lb) Sweet Italian Sausage, casing removed
(1 Lb) Butternut Squash (I used and prefer the pre-cut Zig Zag’s from TJ’s but you can also chop your own)
(5 T) Kerrygold Butter
(8 Leaves) Sage
Pepper, to taste
Cook orecchiette pasta al dente according to package instructions. Add a pinch of salt to the water before boiling and make sure to reserve the cooking liquid before straining. Set aside.
Over medium-high, in a large skillet, heat up EVOO then add garlic cloves. Wait about 30 seconds for aroma then add in sausage (removed from casing). Work through sausage with a spatula, breaking into smaller pieces to make the sausage crumbled.
Once cooked through (approx. 7 min), remove the sausage and set aside in a bowl. (You will eventually be throwing it back into the mix)
In the same skillet, toss in the chopped butternut squash and cook until softened. Stir occasionally to allow it to brown in some areas. (approx. 7 min).
At this point, you can add in the butter and sage leaves. Allowing both to be mixed in and the butter to start to foam and brown (approx. 2 min).
Turn off stove and add the sausage back in, mix. Add the cooked pasta, mix in.
Bring the stove back on to low heat to allow the whole mix to warm up. At the same time, add in the reserved cooking liquid and a bit of parmesan (I didn’t use too much so we could later garnish individual dishes with parm), continue folding the mix until heated throughout.
Add additional parm and pepper to individual dishes, serve.