Each week I send you pictures of food and tell you how pressingly important it is for you to try it. I obsess over the way my ice cream is dripping in the pictures and inspect my paragraphs for grammar flaws, (which I still miss, at times).
I tell you how important it is to flee the freezer section and make your own pie crust. In all this talking that I do, I sometimes forget to mention the most important thing about food - that you enjoy it.
Enjoy the bowls of melted ice cream. Enjoy the slightly overcooked Thanksgiving turkey - we all know it’s coming. There’s plenty of room to be a food snob, but sometimes we need a break from the fancy sea salt and cocoa nibs. We need to take time to enjoy something simple.
This pasta is what I enjoy. I don’t enjoy it because it’s super fancy. I enjoy it because it’s not. It’s just pure and simple happiness, which does not produce a lot of dishes and includes carbs. That is what I enjoy.
I’m not saying that I’m giving up on my sometimes-snobby approach to food. I’ll never grow tired of a seven course dinner. But sometimes simple is all I want.
I hope you have a wonderful Monday friends, and I hope you enjoy every bit of this pasta, which just happens to be pretty fantastic.
Linguine with Sausage and Butternut Squash
- 1 pound dry linguine
- 12 ounces sausage
- 10 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
- 4 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1 medium butternut squash (1.5 - 2 lbs)
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan (plus extra for garnish)
- 2/3 cup half and half
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
Slice your butternut squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Allow to cool before separating the flesh from the skin.
In the work bowl of your food processor combine the squash with heavy cream and parmesan; pulse until the puree is smooth and silky.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta; while the pasta is cooking prepare the sausage.
In a large skillet heat several table spoons of olive oil and add sausage and mushrooms. Cook until the sausage and the mushrooms are caramelized. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Add cooked pasta directly to pan, with 1/4 cup of pasta water*, and stir to combine. Toss in butternut squash puree and cook until the sauce has slightly thickened. Serve immediately (with extra parmesan of course). Enjoy!
*The water the pasta was cooked in adds extra flavor to pasta dishes and helps to thin the butternut sauce.