The flavors of this pasta dish together make my taste buds do a little dance. The sweet and savory butternut squash, tangy and rich goat cheese, flavorful sausage, topped off with fresh Parmesan and dried thyme.
This rich and hearty dish is exactly what I crave in the fall and winter! I have a feeling I’ll be making this for my family year-round. It was love at first bite!
You can use any kind of sausage, but I recommend using something with a good flavor like a spicy sausage or an Italian sausage if you don’t like spicy food. I used a spicy ground turkey sausage from Jennie-O. If you’re gluten-free try substituting a rice or chickpea based pasta.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1 pound sausage
- 8 ounces goat cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Microwave butternut squash for 2 minutes—this will soften it a little and make it easier to cut. Cut off the top and bottom of the squash. Use a potato peeler to remove the skin. Cut squash in half and remove the seeds from the center. Cut into half-inch cubes.
- Toss squash and diced onions with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread squash and onions over baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- When squash is almost done baking, start cooking your sausage. Cook all the way through, crumbling it as you cook it, and set aside.
- Bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil. Add in penne and let boil for about 8 minutes or until tender. Reserve 2 cups of pasta water. Drain the rest of the water. In a large bowl crumble goat cheese and toss with hot pasta. Add pasta water a little bit at a time until a creamy sauce starts to form. You may not need all of the pasta water.
- Add in cooked sausage, onion, and butternut squash and toss. Top with dried time and fresh Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.