Rotini Pasta in a Creamy Butternut Sauce with Chicken Sausage and Baby Spinach

Rotini Pasta in a Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce with Chicken Sausage and Baby Spinach from Barbara Bakes

Curly Rotini pasta in a lower-in-fat, higher-in-nutrition creamy pasta sauce made with butternut squash sauce instead of cream.

I was messaging with Lori, Recipe Girl, about low calorie recipes and she recommended that I visit Skinnytaste. On Skinnytaste, Gina shares lower calorie, healthy, low fat, family-friendly recipes. Her Pasta with Butternut Squash recipe caught my eye because my sweet neighbor brought me over a butternut squash from her garden the day before.

Rotini Pasta in a Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce with Chicken Sausage and Baby Spinach Recipe from Barbara Bakes

I wasn’t sure how my family would respond to a butternut squash pasta sauce, but they’re crazy about my Butternut Squash Soup, so I decided to combine the two recipes. Everyone, including me, loved the pasta. It was a wonderful creamy sauce without a drop of cream.

Gina’s cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor, will be released on September 30, 2014! Go ahead and pre-order it today.

Rotini Pasta in a Creamy Butternut Sauce with Chicken Sausage and Baby Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb ground chicken sausage
  • 16 ounces Rotini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Roast butternut squash in a foil covered baking dish with an inch of water at 350° for 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool until it’s easy to handle.

Scrape the butternut squash from the peel and place in a blender with 1/2 cup water; blend until smooth.

Brown chicken sausage in a large sauté pan. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter in the sauté pan. Sauté onions, celery, and carrots over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix in browned chicken sausage.

Add pureed butternut squash, and reserved pasta water a little at a time to thin out the sauce to desired consistency. Mix in baby spinach and parmesan cheese. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Pour sauce over pasta and toss to combine. Serve with additional parmesan cheese.