Orecchiette with Butternut Squash and Sausage

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
This full-flavored pasta weeknight dinner is inspired by the classic combination of orecchiette and sausage with garlic and oil. Traditionally paired with broccoli rabe, this version uses butternut squash, which offers a sweet balance to the spicy kick of the sausage. It's then finished with fresh oregano and lots of grated Parmesan cheese.



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Combine the olive oil, garlic and sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the garlic and sausage with a slotted spoon to a plate, keeping all the oil in the skillet. Add the squash to the skillet; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is lightly browned and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the oregano.
  2. When you add the squash to the skillet, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as the label directs for al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking water, then drain.
  3. Add the sausage and garlic, pasta and 1 cup cooking water to the skillet with the squash. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the pasta is well coated, about 1 minute. Add more of the remaining cooking water if the mixture seems dry; season with salt.
  4. Divide the pasta among bowls. Top with the Parmesan and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and/or basil.