Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sausage, Squash, and Spinach Penne

It's time to start spring cleaning!  In my house this often means finding what I put in the freezer months ago.  Yesterday, I found some frozen butternut squash. (Don't worry if you don't have the frozen squash; you can replace it with canned pumpkin) I started searching for recipes to use my squash and my new Mulay's Italian Sausage.  I settled on a baked pasta dish which would use some fresh herbs.

I have noticed I am a lot more particular about what types of products that I purchase lately. Sometimes I leave stores that don't have the products that I want.  Mulay's Sausage is antibiotic free, supports sustainable farming practices, and is allergen free.  Simply put, it's pork and spices.  I was pleasantly surprised with how nicely it cooked on the skillet, and I had to taste it since it looked so good; it tasted delicious!



INGREDIENTS:

  • Mulay's Mild Italian Sausage
  • 1 pound of penne pasta
  • 2-3 cups of mashed, cooked squash or 1 can solid packed pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 T Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese 
  • Thyme leaves


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook sausage in skillet.  Remove sausage and set aside.  
  3. Add squash, tomato paste, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, basil, and Italian seasoning to the skillet.  Mix and allow to cook 5-7 minutes.
  4. While squash mixture is cooking, prepare pasta.  Drain.
  5. Add sausage to squash mixture.  Cook for 2 minutes.  
  6. Add pasta to skillet.  Mix well.
  7. Place half of pasta mixture into baking dish.  Add a layer of  spinach.  Place remaining pasta on top. Cover with foil.  Bake for 12 minutes.
  8. Remove foil.  Cover with cheeses and leaves of thyme.  Cook uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.


DIFFICULTY: Medium 
TIME: 45 minutes
SOURCE: Modified from Pinterest




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