Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rigatoni with Roasted Butternut Squash and Chicken Sausage

So Daniel has been out of the country with his family for almost 2 weeks now. The first week wasn't too bad because I was busy working and had family in town. But now that winter break has officially set in and my family have all left, I was starting to get pretty bummed. He suggested that I hang out with his very best friend so I thought it would be fun to cook for him. I quickly ran to my storage unit and pulled out all of my large white platters and bowls (it all matched! What a thought!!!) We invited another friend for dinner and she is a really picky eater so I knew I had to impress. It would also be a bit more of a challenge because Gil is gluten free. I had mastered the art of vegan, lactose-free, and diabetic friendly cooking so I thought to myself "bring it on, Celiac's!" I went to this wonderful little farmer's market called Sprouts near my house and found an incredible gluten-free section. I was a little overwhelmed because there really was a LOT to choose from. I picked up some sweet and spicy chicken sausage, gluten-free pasta, and some fresh (pre-chopped!!!) butternut squash (actually, that was from Costco) and was ready for a great meal! Not only is this dish gluten-free, but there's very little fat and sodium because we're cooking with chicken and squash! It is so cream and rich you'll want leftovers for days! Add some water to the sauce if it is too thick (and maybe set some sauce aside for leftovers!). I just might have to make this again tonight! hmm... Enjoy!!!

What you'll need (this made enough for 6-8 people):
2 lbs. chopped butternut squash
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. each Kosher salt & pepper
1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
2 lbs. gluten-free pasta (rigatoni or penne would be perfect)
3 shallots, thinly sliced
3 gloves garlic, minced
2 each spicy and sweet chicken sausage, removed from casing
Fresh sage, for garnish
Grated parmesan, for garnish

1. Preheat your oven to 400*. Season the squash with a TINY bit of Kosher salt and pepper and olive oil. Roast for 40 minutes.
2. When the squash is tender (and squishy), add to a food processor (or blender) and puree until totally smooth. Let cool for a few minutes and mix in the yogurt. Set aside.
3. Now, start boiling a large pot of salted water. Drop your pasta in. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat, add the chicken sausage. Break up until browned and set aside on a plate. 
4. Reduce the heat to low and sauté the shallots and garlic (because chicken is so lean, there will hardly be any fat, so no need to drain it). Add the garlic and shallots to the squash mixture.
5. Drain your pasta and toss in with the squash. Finally, add the chicken sausage and give everything a good toss. Top with some chopped sage and parmesan. 


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