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Cozy up for fall with this soul-warming dish that's chock-full of cavatelli, turkey sausage, butternut squash and spinach. Check your Walmart store for the latest local produce! Local produce varies by store. Sponsored by Walmart.

Cavatelli with Roasted Butternut Squash, Spinach and Turkey Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (roughly 3 cups)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 pound cavatelli or casarecce pasta

  • 1/2 to 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid

  • 5 sweet Italian turkey sausages, removed from the casings

  • 1 pound spinach, roughly chopped

  • 1 (8.8-ounce) tub mascarpone cheese

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage, plus whole leaves for garnish

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the butternut squash on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and softened. Remove and let cool until needed.

  2. Bring a large stockpot of water up to boil. Season liberally with salt. Cook the pasta per the package directions or until almost al dente. It will continue to cook a little more in the sauce.

  3. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce. Place a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, and drizzle in a little olive oil. Add in the turkey sausage and break up with a wooden spoon into small pieces. Cook until golden brown. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted, followed by the cooked squash. Add in the mascarpone, 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, sage and nutmeg. Mix together and taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed. Add in the cooked pasta. If it still looks a little dry, add the remaining 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Toss to coat the pasta in the mixture, and let the flavors meld for 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. To serve, place some pasta in a shallow bowl and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, nutmeg and a fresh sage leaf.

Cavatelli with Roasted Butternut Squash, Spinach and Turkey Sausage
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Transcript

- Hey guys, I'm Megan Mitchell. And today I've teamed up with Walmart to show you how to make my favorite fall dish: butternut squash pasta with sausage, sage, and spinach. I can't wait to show you how to make it. Let's get started by breaking down this beautiful butternut squash. It's one of my favorite fall vegetables. And I'm gonna cut off this end. It's a bit of a firm squash, it's kind of hard to break down, but I'm gonna show you how easy it is with a couple tricks and a sharp knife, that is very important. I take off the ends. We're gonna peel off the squash, which takes some time. Almost there. Okay, I did it. I've peeled this butternut squash. And once it's peeled, I'm gonna cut the squash right where this long neck meets the bulbous end. Carefully kind of rock your knife back and forth. I'm gonna start breaking down this piece and I want it to be about half-inch, one-inch pieces. I don't want it to be bigger than the pasta so I want it to be little bite-sized pieces. Cut it down into planks. And then cut those planks into cubes. For this recipe, I got my butternut squash at Walmart. And the great thing about them is they support local communities. I love that I know where I'm getting my butternut squash from. All right, to cut this, this sweet, sweet lady, you gotta cut it in half and she's full of seeds so we gotta scoop them out. Smells like pumpkins. Reminds me of fall. My butternut squash is cubed and ready so I'm gonna just drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and then salt and pepper. And let's just toss it together. I want it in an even layer so it doesn't steam. Then I'm gonna pop this in an oven at 375 for 25, 30 minutes. You can check it halfway through, give it a little, a little josh, a little turn. You just wanna make sure that it's tender and golden brown. I'm gonna let this cool for a little bit. It's golden brown and it's tender. It's just great butternut squash. While my squash hangs out, I'm gonna cook my pasta and start making the sauce for it. I'm gonna salt my pasta water pretty liberally. Then I'm gonna add my pasta. You can use any sort of short pasta you want. You can use penne, you could use shells, you just want it to sort of be the same size as your butternut squash. You drop it into your boiling water, give it a little stir, and then hopefully by the time the pasta cooks, your sauce will be ready and then it'll go in and it'll be beautiful. All right, see you in a little bit. Let's get started on our sauce. You want a large high-sided skillet because everything is going in here, the turkey sausage, the butternut squash, spinach, pasta, sure it's big enough to hold everything. Little extra virgin olive oil just to help the sausage along. Sometimes it needs a little help. Find this type of turkey sausage in casings but just take it out of the casings. Or if you can find it bulkish, just sweet Italian turkey sausage. Perfect. You just wanna break it up with your spatula or your spoon. You wanna cook this until it's golden brown and cooked through. While my sausage cooks up and browns, I'm going to cut up my spinach. Have this beautiful spinach. I'm just gonna give it a rough chop so it's more manageable. Make sure you always wash your leafy vegetables, your leafy greens, because they have secret dirt in them. You gotta get that off. 'Kay, the sausage is ready for the spinach. Nice and golden brown, it's cooked through. So I'm going to add my spinach. When I add green things to my pasta, that makes me feel like I'm being healthy. So I just turned off the heat to my pan because it's very hot and I just wanna wilt the spinach. I'm gonna add in some mascarpone cheese. And this is room temp because that way it'll just melt into the sauce even quicker. This adds a nice creaminess and a little tang and it's just so good. Stir this in. This is one of my absolute favorite fall pastas because it's easy to make. It kind of warms me up, like I feel like it's perfect for fall evenings and when it's cold outside I can eat a big bowl of pasta. And it's butternut squash which is one of my favorite fall vegetables. Perfect. Salt and pepper and freshly-grated nutmeg. I have some fresh sage. I'm gonna chop it up. A nice fine chop. And last but not least, our butternut squash. Also adds a beautiful, vibrant orange color which I think makes this dish look so pretty with the green and the orange. Stir it up. 'Kay I think my pasta should be ready. I'm gonna add a ladle-full of the pasta cooking liquid and then check it, I'm gonna stir it, see if I need to add any more. This one just makes me so happy. Do a little more nutmeg on top and then also some Parmesan cheese. Oh my gosh, that makes me happy just seeing it sprinkle down like that. And then, I like to put a sage leaf or two so people know what herb is inside. And there we have it. My mouth is watering. This roasted butternut squash pasta with turkey sausage and spinach and sage. I'm gonna take a bite because it smells so insane. This a hundred percent should be your next fall meal. This is absolutely one of my favorite pasta dishes. I hope you make it. The recipe is linked below. Let me know if you do. Happy cooking.