Butternut Pasta in a Mustard Cream Sauce

Butternut squash pasta with Italian sausage in a sage infused mustard cream sauce.  It’s all those things that you love about fall wrapped into a single dish – hearty, spicy, warm, and cozy… but don’t get too excited.  It’s been drummed into me from a young age that eating anything with heavy cream in it is taboo, and it is likely to lead you to a tragic, untimely death.  My Mom has a wild imagination.  She successfully scared me off of all things cream.  Even Mac and Cheese was suspect.  It wasn’t until I was older that I finally realized that her fear of cream stemmed more from a fear of fitting into her skinny jeans (yes, it’s creepy, a few years ago she traded in her high-waisted 80s mom jeans for actual skinny jeans, and to her credit, she looks great in them) then the fact that eating a serving of fettuccine Alfredo once every three years will automatically cause you to prematurely keel over.  In deference to a traumatic childhood devoid of the wonders of velvety, creamy goodness, and in consideration to the fact that I actually plan to serve this to my Mother, I replaced a large portion of the cream found in the original recipe with a 1% milk based béchamel sauce.  Tragic, I know, but it still turned out great, and reduced some of the decadent fat guilt that was still sufficiently present due to the gratuitous use of pork sausage.  Also, the moment I removed the heavy cream from the fridge, my Mom was hovering over my shoulder watching my every move like a honey badger surveying a hen house, and who am I to brave her skinny jean defying wrath?

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Butternut Squash Pasta
  • 1/2 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 lb Hot Italian Sausage
  • 10-15 Sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3 -5 tbsp Heavy Cream
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Directions:

  1. Put the pasta on to cook while you make the sauce.
  2. In a deep skillet crumble up and brown the sausage.
  3. Once the sausage is cooked remove it from the skillet, and set it aside to dry on a paper towel.
  4. Drain all but about 2 tbsp of the sausage fat from the bottom of the skillet.
  5. Stir the flour into the two remaining tablespoons of fat.
  6. Add the milk, and whisk the sauce gently until it starts to boil and thicken.
  7. In a bowl combine the mustard and the wine.
  8. Once the sauce has thickened, gradually pour the mustard wine mixture into milk while continuing to stir and thicken.
  9. Gradually stir in the heavy cream.
  10. Stir in the sage, and season the sauce lightly with salt and pepper.
  11. Remove the sauce from the heat, and reintroduce the sausage.
  12. Pour the sauce over the cooked and drained pasta, and serve.

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