Saturday, March 3, 2012

Roasted Squash & Italian Sausage in a Creamy Bechamel Sauce

*OH YEAH*  See this is what I'm talking about... just creamy goodness!!
Something about inclement weather (talking about over 50mph winds)and on/off snow...
Meaning my 12lb dog got thrown over to the neighbors yard TWICE!!  Yes, you read this correctly, my dog was literally blown away!! 
Mind you this is my rescue dog that is pure LOVE who we rescued from a puppy mill.  The conditions were so bad that she literally was BORN WITH HIP DYSPLESIA she was so timid of humans and concrete I had to carry this dog for approximately 6 months of her life!!  We saved her, she is our pride and joy, she's neurotic as ALL GET OUT, has SEVERE separation anxiety (that's why I have to play GMA every morning before I go to work (heaven forbid we miss
George Stephanopolous)... this ensures that all my shoes and woodwork will be intact when I come home)... but alas I digress!! 
Twice today I let the dogs out to go potty... TWICE, I couldn't find the neurotic one, aka, Chrissy... 
I'm like "Chris, Chris, where are you baby girl'?  I heard her deep gutteral... "mmmmmm, woof, mmmmmm, woof", looked over and there was Chrissy in the NEIGHBORS YARD, OUTSIDE MY FENCE LINE"!!! What the H*$$???

So that being said; this weather motivates me to cook.  Not only does it make me want to cook and feed my family... but I want to feed them good down home comfort with a twist!! 

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

1                large acorn squash- 2-1/2 cups of squash (you can use whatever squash you have on hand) peeled and cubed
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves

pinch of salt & pepper

Bechamel Sauce                          
5 Tbsp butter
3 - 4 Tbsp flour
2 1/2 c milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2-3/4 c parmesan or Romano cheese (for this recipe I used half and half)

3/4 cup  water
1 lb  mild Italian sausage *casings removed*
1 box     pasta of choice (i used Farfalle pasta for this recipe)
1 lg  onion diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes *optional*

Parmesan or Romano cheese & fresh parsley chopped for topping *optional*

Preheat oven to 425F. Peel and seed squash of choice. Cube and place in a bowl. To bowl add the rest of the ingredients for squash. Toss till incorporated. 

Place squash mixture onto a foil lined and non-stick sprayed pan. This ensures for easier clean up. Bake till nicely roasted, about 20-25 minutes. About half way thru you can stir the squash to ensure even roasting.           
When you place your squash in the oven. Place your saucepan with water on stove to bring to boil for pasta.       
As squash is baking and water is boiling. In a saute pan, add sausage crumbled (removed from casings)in a saute pan on medium low. Start to saute. When sausage is no longer pink, add diced onion. Continue to saute for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic powder and red pepper flakes *optional*, stir, then add water. Cover and let braise till golden and lightly brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, as sausage is braising, in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat, add your butter. Once butter has melted add flour, cook for 1 minute and add milk. Whisking constantly, add nutmeg, salt & pepper. Once mixture has started to thicken, add your cheese. Mixture will be almost "really thick" at this point. Turn off heat, cover and set aside.

Check your squash, should be ready. Water should be boiling for pasta. Drop pasta in and stir. Boil til ala dente. Remove from heat and drain. Bring back into sauce pan. 
 Add your bechamel sauce to the pasta.           

Squash should be slightly roasted and soft. Remove from oven, and add to directly to your bechamel sauce and pasta. Stir to incorporate thoroughly.       
Pour pasta mixture onto your serving platter.           
Add your sausage mixture over the pasta and sprinkle with additional cheese if desired. 

Decorate with fresh parsley.  Serve with rolls and salad of your choice and be ready for the compliments and full tummies!!!

Better yet... bring the plates down in front of the fireplace and have a winter picnic with the family while enjoying this amazing comfort food...
Good food, shared with the ones you love, that my friends is the meaning of life!


Dishin with Didi


  1. Found your blog several weeks ago. The recipe sounds delish. Check your ingredients list, what squash? What kind and how much? Toni in TN

  2. Hi Toni!! *waving madly*
    Thank you so much for pointing out the typo... this recipe was hard for me to post, because my original pics were deleted, (I know, back up, back up, back up), I do now trust me!!!

    I've rectified the recipe and again I thank you for pointing it out!!!

    Looking forward to more posts from you! TN? Huh, my bff is going to TN this July she want's me to come... I sooooooo love the Southern accent, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!!

  3. Didi love - I want to cook like you... or at least make what you show me!! So - because I am a very basic "cooker" can you clarify the whole sausage thing? Do I buy Italian Sausage Lings and pull the casings off? I want this and the hot dog meal right now!! Yummo

  4. LOL, we will work thru this Michelle!! ;-)

    Yes, you buy Italian sausage, pull the casings off, and then break it apart in the saute pan. Does that make sense? Don't hesitate to ask, ever!!

  5. Ok, I am trying this. Looks wonderful. Thanks Didi!

    Hey, and I will look, but if you would post sometime how you do the candle thingy with the Yankee candle jars, I would love it!!

    I have been saving my jars.


    1. I was planning on the Yankee Patti!!!

      Let me know about the dish, can't wait for the reviews!!