Decadent + Figure Friendly?!

Tonight’s dinner was decadent.  Wow. 

It tasted like comforting love in a bowl, with delicious rich flavors that were pulled together while still being figure friendly. 

Just wait, you’ll see! 😉

Butternut Squash & Chicken Sausage Parmesan Pasta

The starters:

Onion, garlic, chicken sausage, ziti and Parmesan cheese.

Plus some pre-roasted butternut squash. 

Pre-roasted?

Yep.  Want to hear a great trick?  Remember last night when I was roasted up those sweet potatoes…

Well I snuck these squash into the oven too since I knew I’d be using them today and saved myself about an hour of roasting time tonight!  Made my life soooooo easy after work 😉

To roast butternut squash I follow this method:  cut in half, remove seeds and place into baking dish at 350F for about an hour or until soft & tender.

First up, the onions and chicken sausage.

Followed by the garlic and butternut squash, plus some salt and pepper.

Then the chicken stock, cream (only 1/4 cup, stayin’ healthy here remember!), Parmesan cheese and fresh thyme.

Another great trick.  Anytime I buy something like heavy whipping cream which we don’t use up, I put into ice cube trays and freeze for later use.  Works great in cooked dishes and keeps me from having to let anything go to waste!

Freshly cooked ziti and a quick stir…

And you’re done 😀

Serve with more cheese if you like, or in my case more freshly cracked black pepper.

Flavors = spot on.  Creamy, rich and comforting.

Yet only a small amount of fat needed to achieve such flavor.  I couldn’t believe how buttery and creamy this was.

The chicken stock does a great job of adding flavor while also creating a luscious sauce out of a minimal amount of cream and cheese.  So good!

The dinner table (i.e. The Man and myself) raved.

Here’s the recipe, which took about 30-40 minutes start to finish.  Not too shabby huh? 😛

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, cooked, peeled and chopped
  • chicken sausages, sliced on the diagonal (I used Trader Joe’s Italian)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I had homemade on hand, but use any kind you like)
  • 2 tblsp heavy whipping cream
  • 2-3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (freshly grated preferred!)
  • fresh thyme, about 1 tsp
  • salt (we like sea salt) 
  • black pepper
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 3/4 to 1 box ziti (or any pasta you like)

1.  Cook onions in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add in sliced sausages and cook for a few until browned a bit, about 5-7 minutes.  If the onions start to brown too add a splash of water – it’ll help them to steam vs. get too brown.

While this is cooking, go ahead and cook your pasta in another pot according to directions.  That way it’ll be done right when the sauce is ready!

2.  Add garlic and squash to onion/sausage mixture plus salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

3.  Add in the fresh thyme, chicken stock, cream and Parm cheese.  Stir gently as to not break up squash.

4.  In goes the cooked pasta (which has been drained).  Add more salt and pepper if you like, then stir to combine.

5.  SERVE IT UP!  Top with extra black pepper and Parm cheese as desired.

And trust me, you’ll have some happy diners!  A comforting meal to feel good about serving too 🙂

I hope you’ll give this one a try!

Advertisements

4 responses to “Decadent + Figure Friendly?!

  1. Squash is just fantastic right now. I can’t get enough of all of the different varieties. Great job on the pasta. I like that I could make this both veg and meaty pretty easily (a major plus in my household!)

  2. Oh wow this looks fantastic! Great combination of flavors!!

  3. That dish looks amazing! I’m a huge fan of BN squash :0)

  4. what a great idea to freeze the cream that way. genius!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s