Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
This pasta is perfect for fall and winter. The combination of butternut squash and spicy Italian sausage creates a delicious balance of sweet and heat that will have you always going back for another bite.
Mezzi Rigatoni with Butternut Squash and Spicy Sausage
- 1 pound mezzi rigatoni pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 3 tablespoons for finishing
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage casing removed
- 1 pound butternut squash peeled and cut into 1/3 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese divided
- 2 cups roughly chopped baby arugula
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until just al dente. Drain well reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into bite sized pieces, until the sausage is cooked through. Add the diced squash to the pan and stir to combine. Add the water and season with the salt. Using the wooden spoon, make sure all of the squash is submerged. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the squash is tender and the liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and 3/4 cup parmesan. Stir vigorously to combine, breaking up the squash slightly as you go and thinning with pasta water as needed until the pasta is coated in a light and creamy sauce. Stir in the arugula and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook just until the arugula is wilted. Serve topped with the remaining parmesan.