Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

1 lb spicy italian sausage (you could probably use regular italian sausage too but I like the spicy type)
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced**
1 TBS butter
1 lb pasta of choice
1/4 cup  shallots or small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 TBS parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried crushed sage
salt & pepper, to taste

**microwaving your the whole squash for 1-2 minutes will make cutting and peeling easier**


Bring a large pot of salted water (a few dashes of salt is enough) to a boil. Add the peeled and chopped butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon, saving water for pasta. Put squash into a food processor or blender; pulse until smooth.

Bring the saved squash water back to a boil, add more water if needed and cook pasta al dente as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water when draining noodles.
Meanwhile in a deep sided skillet sauté sausage until no longer pink, breaking it up into small chunks. Spoon cooked sausage onto a plate and set aside. Drain if you are wanting to save on calories, otherwise continue on with directions ;-)

In the same skillet add 1 TBS to skillet and sauté shallots/onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in pureed butternut squash and a little bit of reserved pasta water until the sauce consistency is to your liking....I used just a little less then the reserved 1 cup of water. Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir in spinach, parmesan cheese, sausage and sage. 

Toss in pasta and mix to coat. 
Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, optional