Creamy Pesto Pasta with Squash & Spinach

Creamy Pesto Pasta

with Squash & Spinach

35 MIN
+$3.99/serving 2 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    In this comforting pasta dish, sweet delicata squash is roasted in the oven before being stirred into ruffle-edged mafalda pasta along with fresh spinach and our verdant basil pesto. It all gets topped with a sprinkle of savory parmesan to finish.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      1110 Cals (est.)
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    ingredients
    Creamy Pesto Pasta with Squash & Spinach
    Title
    • 10 oz Hot Italian Pork Sausage
    • 6 oz Mafalda Pasta
    • 1 Delicata Squash
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • ¼ cup Cream
    • 3 oz Baby Spinach
    • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 1 Shallot
    Prepare & roast the squash
    1 Prepare & roast the squash

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Line a sheet pan with foil. Cut off and discard the ends of the squash. Quarter lengthwise; using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to the sheet pan; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 20 to 22 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

    Cook the pasta
    2 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook the sausage
    3 Cook the sausage

    In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 7 to 9 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

    Cook the spinach
    4 Cook the spinach

    Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the shallot. In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced shallot and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat.

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked spinach, roasted squash, cooked sausagepesto, cream (shaking the packet before opening), and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the parmesan. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare & roast the squash
    1 Prepare & roast the squash

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Line a sheet pan with foil. Cut off and discard the ends of the squash. Quarter lengthwise; using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to the sheet pan; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 20 to 22 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

    2 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook the pasta
    Cook the sausage
    3 Cook the sausage

    In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 7 to 9 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

    4 Cook the spinach

    Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the shallot. In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced shallot and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat.

    Cook the spinach
    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked spinach, roasted squash, cooked sausagepesto, cream (shaking the packet before opening), and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the parmesan. Enjoy!

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