Creamy Kabocha Squash Pasta With Sausage


The arrival of fall brings with it a bounty of cold weather ingredients to the marketplace, including a variety of winter squash, and a good selection of greens. I was so happy to find Kabocha squash at our local outdoor market in Deruta, that I bought three of them. I love all winter squash, but particularly like Kabocha squash because it has dense, not too watery flesh, and a very subtle sweetness that allows you to use it in both sweet and savory dishes. In place of the Kabocha squash, you could also use butternut squash or a cooking pumpkin.

I had used up most of my squash before we left Umbria, and had just a half of one remaining. I decided to make a creamy pasta dish. I added some crumbled Italian sausage to create a hearty meal, along with mascarpone cheese instead of heavy cream. Mascarpone adds a richness to pasta sauces that I find particularly satisfying, and I knew it would bring the squash and sausage together.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2016

Creamy Kabocha Squash Pasta With Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Cleaned & Cubed Kabocha Squash
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Pound Sausage Links, Meat Removed From Casings
  • 6 Fresh Sage Leaves, Finely chopped
  • 4 Ounces Macarpone Cheese, At Room Temperature
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 12 Ounces Dried Pasta

To Serve:

  • Grated Pecorino Cheese

Directions:

  1. Melt together the butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the squash.
  2. Cook the squash until fork tender, stirring often, bout 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the squash to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the sausage meat to the skillet, and cook until lightly browned and no longer pink, breaking the meat into small pieces with two forks as it cooks.
  5. Add the squash to the skillet, mashing it with a fork, then stir in the mascarpone cheese and sage.
  6. Cook until the sauce is thick and bubbly, then season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
  7. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then cook the pasta until it is “al dente”.
  8. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water.
  9. Return the pasta to the pot along with the sauce and stir until well mixed, adding some of the pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce.
  10. Serve the pasta piping hot in individual bowls topped with grated Pecorino cheese.