These days I’m all about simple meals that can be put together relatively quickly; such is the life of a stay at home mom with a toddler and an infant – time is not a thing I have a lot of these days.
This pasta is one of those meals. Although there are a few moving parts, everything can be done in concert, so the meal still comes together in less than an hour. It is rich and hearty and can be adjusted to make it exactly what you’re looking for.
The butternut squash sauce is simply delicious adding a beautifully sweet touch to the overall dish. If you have dietary restrictions, this dish can easily be adjusted.
To make it gluten-free: simply sub a good gluten-free pasta.
To make it vegetarian: you can remove the Italian sausage and leave it out completely or you can substitute with white beans.
To make it vegan: the same as above for the sausage and you can use a crumbled vegan cheese to mix in and a meltable vegan cheese on top – or you can omit the cheese altogether and simply eat as is; believe me it’s still just as delicious!
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUCE
- 11/2 lbs butternut squash
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 11/2 - 2 cups good veggie stock
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup oat milk* (optional, you can also use regular milk/heavy cream)
- 4 cups rigatoni pasta*
- 2 Italian sausages (mild or hot, your choice)
- 3 oz fresh spinach
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 14oz can whole artichokes, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/2 cup grated asiago*
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Peel the butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, then cut into cubes. Drizzle cubes with extra virgin olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 min. (You can also cook them in a pressure cooker, if you have which will save time).
- While the squash is roasting, we will get the rest going. Add 4 cups of rigatoni to boiling salted water and cook until they're almost al dente (about 10 min).
- Crumble Italian sausage from its casing into a hot 12" cast iron pan on medium heat, once sausage stats to brown, add in your garlic and cook for another 2 min. Then toss in your artichokes and turn the heat down to low/med.
- Once the butternut squash is done roasting, remove from oven and turn heat down to 350F, pour the squash into a high powered blender or food processor, add in the veggie stock, oat milk if you choose, lemon juice, and nutmeg. Process until smooth and silky, salt and pepper to taste and pulse for another 30 seconds. Start with 1 cup of veggie stock and add more in ass you need for the right consistency.
- Pour the sauce into the cast iron pan, and add in the crumbled feta and the spinach. Turn the heat off and stir until combined. Once the noodles are done, strain and pour the noodles into the cast iron pan. If you find it a little too thick, you can always add more veggie stock or a bit of the pasta water.
- Sprinkle on the grated mozzarella and asiago and transfer your cast iron pan to the oven at 350F and bake for 20-25 min.
- Remove from oven, season with salt and pepper and serve.
I add oat milk, because it adds a nice sweetness to the sauce, this is especially helpful when you end up with a squash that is lacking in flavour. Heavy cream, soy milk or cashew milk would be good substitutes.
You can use whatever noodles you like, I like rigatoni for this one.
You can substitute the asiago for many other options: gran padano, pecorino, parmesan, manchego, and even a sharp white cheddar would do ok.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 356mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 43gSugar: 23gProtein: 28g
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators and not from My Sweet Mess. Although we do attempt to provide as accurate nutritional information as possible, these figures are only estimates.
You can also make the sauce and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, simply throw in a pot on low/med heat to warm and pour over your noodle of choice. The sauce is fantastic on it’s own or with the addition of a grated parmesan, or mixed with some ricotta, mascarpone or tofutti.
This pasta is the perfect comfort food on a cold day; enjoy with a glass of Chianti or a Californian pinot noir.
If you make this recipe, let me know what you think. Comment here or post a picture on Instagram and tag me @mysweetmess and hashtag #mysweetmess.
Till the next recipe,