Halloween Food Day 24: Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Casserole

I didn’t give up!!!

The first storm of the season was a whopper.  Downed tree branches and power lines left over 200,000 households in my part of the state without power for several days.  We had power, but the town where our internet provider is located did not.  Incidentally, it is hard to blog without  internet access.  We’ll need to wait until the snow clears a bit to get the massive pile of broken tree branches off the roof of our garage.

What to make on a blustery fall day? A warming butternut squash casserole hits the spot.  It’s nice to get something healthy in before the glut of junk food that will inevitably be consumed by many over the Halloween weekend.

This recipe is adapted from the Harvest Moon Macaroni by Rachael Ray.

•1 lb. bowtie pasta
•2 T olive oil
•1 lb. Italian sausage links, chopped
•2 teaspoons dried thyme
• bayleaf
•2 Tablespoons butter
•2 Tablespoons flour
•Salt and pepper
•1 cup chicken stock
•1 1/2 cups milk
•Dash of nutmeg
•a few dashes of crushed red pepper flakes
•2 Tablespoons dried parsley.
•1 butternut squash
•2 cups cheese, any flavor you like, divided- I used colby because that’s what we had on hand, but mozzarella would be good.

Preheat oven to 400.

Split the squash down the middle and clean out the seeds.  Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.  Cool and scrape out the insides.  Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven.  Brown the sausage, onions, and bay leaves together until cooked through.  Add the butter and flour.  Cook for a few minutes.  Add the chicken stock, milk, and spices.  Cook until thickened and bubbly.  Add the squash.  Stir in half of the cheese and the cooked pasta. Spread into a 9×13 inch baking dish and top with the rest of the cheese.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese become browned and bubbly.

 

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