This hearty pasta dish combines the flavors of roasted butternut squash, sweet Italian chicken sausage and fresh basil finished in a Parmesan cream sauce.
I am so excited to be writing this post right now! I know it has been a while since we have added any new recipes to our blog, and of course there’s a story behind it, so I’ll go with the quick version. In March, we discovered our daughter was becoming sick due to undetected mold in the house we were renting. We knew we had to move, so we decided it was time to buy a home. Somehow we managed to find the right home, put in an offer, have the offer accepted and move two adults, two children, two cats and a turtle into our new house during the last week of April. Whew! That was crazy!
After two months of unpacking and renovations, I can finally say we are settled. I am so glad to be back to doing what I love – cooking and sharing my creations. I am also happy to have this recipe for Butternut Squash and Chicken Sausage Pasta as our first official “Welcome Back” post. This meal is served family style, and for me, truly represents togetherness and the feeling you get from sharing a home cooked meal with those you love. I hope you will enjoy it as much as our family did!
Learn how to make it
To make this Butternut Squash and Chicken Sausage Pasta, start by roasting cubed butternut squash and chopped onion.
While the butternut squash and onion mixture is in the oven, cook the chicken sausage links on medium for 10 minutes covered and 5 more minutes uncovered.
Next, cut the sausage links into coins and return to pan, cooking for about 10 more minutes. When the sausage is done, turn off heat and let rest. While the sausage is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook penne pasta according to package directions.
As the pasta cooks, make the Parmesan cream sauce by heating butter and half-and-half in a sauce pan. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
Now add the pasta, sausage, butternut squash and onion mixture, cream sauce and fresh basil to a large bowl and mix together.
Finally, top with additional Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve and enjoy!
- 1 (20 oz) package fresh cubed butternut squash
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- Olive oil (have a bottle on hand to use for drizzling vegetables and if needed for sausage)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 (14 oz) package sweet Italian chicken sausage
- 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/4 cup)
- 1 cup freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese (and more for garnish if desired - we used shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish)
- ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Place cubed butternut squash and chopped onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil until vegetables are well coated, but not drowning.
- Season butternut squash and onion mixture with salt and pepper to suit your taste. We used approximately 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Roast butternut squash and onions for 30-40 minutes. About 15 minutes through, stir squash and onions and turn the pan 180º. Then return to oven for the remaining time. Squash is done when largest pieces are fork tender. When finished, remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet.
- While the squash and onions are in the oven, cook the sausage. Heat a pan on medium and add 3 tablespoons of water. Place sausage links in the pan.
- Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, turning the links occasionally.
- Remove the lid and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, continuing to turn the links.
- Remove the links from the pan and transfer to cutting board. Slice each link into coins and return sausage coins to pan.
- Continue to cook sausage uncovered for approximately 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. If the pan seems dry, you may want to add a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent burning and sticking. The sausage is done when the internal temperature reaches at least 165° F. Turn off heat and let meat rest.
- Approximately 20 minutes into your cooking time, bring 2.5-3 quarts of water to a boil.
- Add the 2 cups of pasta to the water, return to a boil and cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally (will take approximately 11-13 minutes depending on the texture you desire).
- Remove pasta from heat and drain well.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the Parmesan cream sauce. Start by heating half-and-half and butter in a small sauce pan on medium. Stir continuously until the butter is melted.
- Remove sauce from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
- Now that all of the components are ready, transfer pasta to a large bowl. Add the sausage, cream sauce, roasted butternut squash and onions, and basil.
- Mix together carefully. Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.