Fall is officially in full swing here in Boston which means it’s time for some of my favorite seasonal vegetables. Butternut squash tops the list- it’s a great side dish and can add an interesting twist to any dish. Some people may find butternut squash too sweet, but pairing it with something spicy creates a nice balance. Butternut squash is a great source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and it contains a phytonutrient called carotenoids. With flu season upon us, it never hurts to get in some antioxidant rich foods to help support your immune system.
Butternut squash can take some time to prepare and may not be the most convenient ingredient for week night meals. The good news? You can peel, dice and roast the squash days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator to have ready to add to any meal.
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 4 links (about 12oz) spicy chicken sausage, sliced
- ¼ cup shallots, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 10oz whole wheat pasta or pasta of your choice
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss butternut squash in 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread into a single layer on a nonstick sheet tray. Bake until squash is tender and starting to brown, 25-30 minutes.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, chicken sausage and shallots. Sauté until lightly browned and cooked through. Add garlic and spinach and cook until wilted. Add butternut squash to warm through (if roasted ahead of time).
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta with the chicken sausage/vegetable mixture and top with cheese and red pepper flakes.