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Sunday dinner: Pasta with butternut squash, sausage & kale

Pasta dishes don’t have to swim in sauce to bring flavor to the plate. This recipe relies on its ingredients and simple sauce for fab flavor.

Pasta with butternut squash, sausage & kale

This Sunday dinner recipe for pasta with butternut squash, sausage and kale includes a simple sauce that lets the ingredients stand on their own. I’ve had a lot of pasta meals that were drenched in marinara, soaked in cream and steeped in meat sauce. I bet you have, too. No such issues with this dish.

Pasta with butternut squash, sausage & kale

The flavors of the ingredients tossed with the pasta are the stars in this dish thanks, in part, to the simple sauce. All you need to do is add some of the water used to cook the pasta with some Parmesan cheese, and you’re done.

You’ll love this dish for all its great flavors, and there won’t be anything hidden under a pile of sauce.

Pasta with butternut squash, sausage & kale recipe

Serves 4-6


  • 10 ounces uncooked medium-size pasta
  • 3/4 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 3 cups (packed) kale, cut into bite-size pieces with tough stems removed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. About 5-6 minutes before pasta is finished cooking, add the sausage to a large skillet over medium heat. Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the sausage. Add the onion and cook until the sausage is browned.
  3. Remove the sausage and onion from the skillet and set it to the side in a bowl. Add the butternut squash and kale to the skillet used to cook the sausage. Add the sage, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for several minutes so the squash caramelizes a bit and the kale begins to wilt.
  4. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the water used to cook the pasta, and drain the pasta. Return the sausage to the skillet along with the pasta. Toss to combine.
  5. Add about 1/4 cup of the water to the skillet along with the cheese and stir well. If you think you need a bit more water, add the remaining water and stir the ingredients to combine.
  6. Serve warm in individual bowls with extra Parmesan cheese on the side.

A simple sauce for a flavorful meal.

More Sunday dinner recipes

Fritos skillet pie
Farfalle with creamy blue cheese sauce, shrimp and asparagus
Caramelized onion, steak & Swiss chard panini

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