I love this pasta dish! The roasted butternut squash gets a little sweet but the creamy, savory goat cheese is a great balance. Then you have the crunch of the walnuts and some heat from the spicy sausage! See what I mean, this pasta has it all!
- Olive Oil
- 1 package Wamplers Sausage, I like the hot but they do have mild
- 1 pound butternut squash, I use the pre-cut version from Trader Joes.
- 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon sage
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound penne pasta – cooked al dente
- 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup walnuts – chopped
- 1/3 cup Parmesan, shredded
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Toss the squash and onion together with a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and sage. Spread out veggies on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables have started to brown and are cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside. (Note: I like my onion crispy and brown, if you’d like it less cooked, add it to the butternut squash after 15 minutes of cooking)
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still a little firm (al dente), about 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water and drain the remaining water.
- While the pasta and vegetables are cooking, brown the sausage, chopping into small bits. Cook thoroughly until there is no pink.
- In a large bowl, add the drained pasta, break up the goat cheese and add to the pasta, then add in spinach, sausage, veggies, and half the walnuts. Once mixed pour in 1 cup of hot pasta water. Toss and continue to mix until the cheese melts and forms a sauce.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with Parmesan and remaining walnuts, serve immediately.
Notes: The sauce will thicken after it sits for a while. Save a little pasta water in the refrigerator. You can heat it up and use it the next day to reconstitute the sauce. Get the pasta water nice and hot and add a little at a time until you reach a consistency you like.
Keywords: Sausage and Butternut Squash Pasta