Pasta with Butternut Squash, Spinach and Sausage

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So my posts have been lacking, alright nonexistent, the last few weeks. For those of you who don’t know, my visa application has been refused and I’ve been asked to leave the UK, and my husband, while I reapply from California. So the past few weeks have been filled with uncertainty and obviously we have been eating, we’re not in starvation mode, but I haven’t been inspired to write anything and haven’t photographed anything either. Ok, so that’s where I’ve been. Boohoo. On to the food!

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The is a great weeknight meal, it’s packed full of vegetables, is really tasty and only takes about 30 minutes to make. The butternut squash is the only part that takes time and you could cook that any way that suits you: roasted, boiled, steamed. In order to keep all the flavors in one pan, I fried off the sausage – in this case I think I used pork and apple sausages, hoping the apple in the sausage would enhance the sweet earthiness of the squash which I think it did! Then I removed the sausage from the pan and added the squash which I had chopped into bite size pieces – you could easily make this vegetarian by leaving out the sausage and it would still be a balanced, satisfying meal. I cooked the squash for a few minutes until it was slightly caramelized, then I added some stock and put the lid on to steam the squash until tender. After about ten minutes I checked it, but I wanted it a bit softer. Add more stock, if necessary, and steam until you’re happy with the texture. The reduced stock becomes a glaze which coats the squash pieces and a splash of sherry vinegar or lemon juice, which then also gets reduced, adds a lovely tang.

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After the squash is cooked, toss in the spinach and wilt. Then toss in the cooked sausage, and any accumulated juices, and the cooked pasta of your choice – I used fusilli – and all that’s lacking is a generous grating of pecorino or parmesan!

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Earthy sweetness from the squash and the apple in the sausage, savory pork and spinach, sour sharpness from the vinegar or lemon juice and saltiness from the cheese. A perfectly balanced pasta dish which will do any night of the week!

Bon appetit!

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