I’ve been in a bit a bit of a food rut lately. I don’t know if it’s the change of season or the short days, but I’ve been reaching for the takeout menu more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve been trying to break out of the funk (baby steps…) and it started with this recipe (and ended with the most amazing apple crisp!!! But I’ll save that for another day…).
This recipe was destined to happen. Here’s why:
1. I love pasta tosses. If I had done this blog a year ago, It would have been called 1001 pasta tosses because it was almost all I cooked. It was all I liked to do. Mixin’ and matchin’ pastas, sauces, and etceteras- it was ridiculous. After the winter passed and I started getting over my pasta toss obsession I realized I really needed to expand my horizons. (That’s when I got obsessed with ridiculously packed salads… But that’s another story) And I did, but it’s the winter again… And I haven’t made a pasta toss in a while. It was only a matter of time…
So, you do the math. Squash + pasta toss + sausage = … Destiny.
Seriously. This is an amazing and easy recipe. The squash takes a while to cook so this is best made on a weekend or on a night when you’re able to wait around an hour while the squash bakes. Trust me- it’s worth it! It’s hearty, filling, incredibly flavorful and so comforting when the weather is as gross at it’s been as of late.
Sausage Rotini Stuffed Butternut Squash – serves 2
1 butternut squash
1/2 lb pork
1/2 lb rotini pasta
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
3/4-1 cup tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp butter
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the butternut squash in half, long-ways, and scoop out squash seeds, creating a little pocket. Place on a baking pan- cut side up. Season as you’d like. I seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter- but I’ve also made this recipe sweeter with brown sugar and cinnamon and I think it also worked out fine.
2. The squash will need to bake for 45-60 minutes, until it’s tender. About 20-25 minutes before the squash is ready you can get started on the pasta toss. Start by boiling a pot of salted water for the pasta. Then start heating a large non-stick skillet over medium-high to brown the pork. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper and and add to the pan with a tiny bit of olive oil (this stuff is fatty!). Once the pork is fully cooked, add 3/4 cup tomato sauce (I’ve started keeping tubs of this in my fridge. It’s just easier that way) and lower the head to medium-low.
3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until one minute before al dente. Add the cooked pasta to the pork and tomato sauce. Add one tablespoon of parsley and two tablespoons of Parmesan. Stir and allow to cook for another minute or two. Cover and turn off the heat.
4. Remove the squash from the oven and place on a serving plate. Spoon the pasta toss into the scooped out pocket and top with more pamesan.