Pasta with Butternut Squash, Sausage and Sage Pesto
3 cups cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound pasta (I used DeLallo Gemelli)
1 pound sweet italian sausage
2 cups fresh sage leaves, loosely packed
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
a pinch each of salt and pepper
For the pesto:
In the bowl of a food processor (or in a blender), add the sage, garlic and pine nuts. Pulse the ingredients a few times until chopped. In a steady stream, slowly add the olive oil while the food processor or blender is running. Stop to scrape down the sides once with a rubber spatula and add the salt and pepper. Run the processor for a few more seconds to combine thoroughly.
Transfer the pesto to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. The pesto will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For the pasta:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss the squash with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the squash evenly being sure they are not overlapping. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the squash is tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large pot, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the pasta to the water and stir. Bring the water back to a boil and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for approximately 8 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, remove the sausages from the casings and brown in a large saute pan breaking up the sausage as it cooks. Set aside.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid, and transfer to a large bowl. Gently toss the pasta with the sage pesto, squash and sausage. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if the sauce seems thick.