Pasta with sweet, buttery roasted acorn squash, sausage, red pepper and parmesan cheese.
This pasta dish is quick, easy to make, and delicious.
The roasted acorn squash practically melts into a sauce once it is tossed with the pasta and other ingredients.
The ground sausage adds a savory, crispy texture but it can be omitted for a delicious vegetarian acorn squash pasta dish.
Pasta- any pasta you choose will do, but fettucine, linguine or a tube pasta like penne are all great options.
Acorn squash- ripe, fresh and in season.
Sausage- ground mild Italian sausage or country sausage.
Parmesan cheese- grated or shredded off the block.
How To Choose An Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a winter squash, with very tender skin, and a very sweet, buttery taste.
Most acorn squash can be purchased beginning in fall through the winter months.
Choose an acorn squash that is deep green in color and doesn't have too much orange on it yet.
A little orange color is all right, but too many orange patches indicate an overly ripe squash that will likely be dry and stringy compared to a younger, tender dark green squash.
The skin will also be the the best when it's dark green and dull.
Roasting Acorn Squash
To roast acorn squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the acorn squash in half horizontally, and remove the seeds and stringy parts with the edge of a spoon. Just like when you carve a pumpkin.
Lie parchment paper (for easy cleanup, although not necessary) on a baking sheet.
Lay the acorn squash halves face up, skin side down, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Generously sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.
Bake the halves for about 30 minutes, untouched, until the flesh can be easily pierced with a fork, or is fork tender.
While the squash halves are roasting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta.
Reserve one cup of the starchy pasta water right before draining the pasta and set aside.
Toss the strained noodles with the butter back in the pot.
In a skillet, fry the sausage until browned on medium high heat.
Add the garlic and scoop out the cooked acorn squash into the pan and sauté for an additional 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Add the buttered pasta to the skillet of sausage and squash, along with the starchy pasta water and toss to coat.
Add the Parmesan cheese, red pepper flake and toss again.
Remove from heat and serve.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Sausage Pasta
- 1 Skillet
- 1 pot
- 1 baking sheet
- 1 lb fettuccine pasta or other wide ribbon or tube pasta (cooked according to directions, reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water)
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium acorn squash cut in half
- 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground sausage Italian or country or sage
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to directions and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water right before straining.
- Return drained pasta to the pot, and toss with the butter.
- Cut acorn squash into half and scoop out inside seeds and pulp.
- Lay squash halves face up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast the acorn squash halves at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
- Fry ground sausage until browned, add garlic and scoop out cooked acorn squash pulp, and sauté until sausage is crispy and the squash is broken up.
- Turn the heat off and add the pasta and 1 cup of pasta water to the skillet, toss to coat.
- Sprinkle in Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flake and toss to coat again.
- Remove from heat and serve with extra Parmesan cheese.
- Use a wide ribbon pasta like pappardelle or tagliatelle
- Reserve a cup of starchy cooking water right before draining it so that it has the most starch.
- Choose acorn squash that is dark green yet dull, not shiny. Small yellow dots are fine. A few small areas of orange are alright, but avoid acorn squashes that have a lot of orange on them as they will be overly mature, dry and stringy, and have tough skins.