I’ll just say it: 2020 has been an absolute train wreck of a year for almost everyone I know.
Thankfully, we live in a world where pasta exists. And honestly if there’s a dish more comforting than pasta, I’d like to know.
This chorizo and butternut squash pasta checks all the boxes:
- Cozy fall flavors (chorizo, roasted squash, crispy sage!)
- A mixture of textures
- Creamy without being heavy (you will never ever find an alfredo sauce here, sorry!)
- Will feed an army or at least 4 very hungry teenagers
Ingredients For Butternut Squash Pasta
For the pasta:
- Butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Chorizo sausage
- Red Onion
- Linguine or other long, thin pasta
- Mascarpone cheese
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
For the crispy fried sage:
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Fresh sage leaves (more than you think is necessary, these are so addictive!!)
What Is Chorizo Anyway?
While some chorizo is sold cured and smoked (it’s cooked and is safe to eat as is), for this pasta recipe we’re using fresh chorizo sausage which must be cooked before eating.
My go-to chorizo is from the butcher counter at Whole Foods. They sell both pork and chicken varieties. The meat is ground instead of chopped and is mixed with paprika, garlic, onion, and salt. They’re a little smoky and pair beautifully with sweet flavors (like roasted butternut squash and sautéed red onion).
Roast Butternut Squash
First step to the most epic butternut squash pasta? We gotta roast that squash!
We are fully convinced that butternut squash is the best option here, but if you want to replace it with another winter squash (pumpkin lovers, we see you!), go for it!
- To roast butternut squash, first preheat oven to 375F. Use a vegetable peeler to peel squash. Trim the very top (stem) and base of the squash, then halve lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out any seeds and discard.
- Place halved butternut squash cut side down on a cutting board. Cut each half into small cubes, about ½” in size.
- Combine butternut squash in a large bowl with olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic, and cinnamon. Toss and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until slightly browned and tender, tossing once halfway through cook time.
While squash is roasting, cook the chorizo sausage.
How To Cook Chorizo
You can’t have chorizo pasta without crispy chorizo! This takes actual minutes.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. While the oil is heating, use a paring knife to gently score the natural casing on the sausage from top to bottom.
- Add chorizo (removing and discarding the natural casing), breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove chorizo and place in a bowl.
If you’re beginning to think that your house smells unreal, I feel you. Smells like fall! Love these flavors together? Definitely check out our focaccia and chorizo stuffing!
In the same skillet, add the sliced red onion. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are tender.
Fried Sage Leaves
Crispy fried sage leaves are a game changer for any and all fall or winter recipes you make this year, but especially on pasta!
Heat canola or veggie oil over high heat in a small skillet. When very hot, add sage leaves, but cook for only 2 or 3 seconds!
Quickly remove with a slotted spoon or large fork and place in a paper-towel lined bowl. Season immediately with a little kosher salt and set aside.
Assemble The Pasta
We’re in the home stretch! You’ve cooked the pasta until al dente, yes? And reserved about ½ cup cooking liquid? Okay, good!
- Combine cooked pasta, chorizo, red onion, roasted butternut squash, a couple tablespoons of chopped sage (if you want), and mascarpone cheese in a large bowl.
- Toss until cheese has melted and everything is evenly coated. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time until sauce has reached your desired consistency.
- Top with crispy sage leaves and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
I’m convinced that a large bowl of noodles could solve most problems, and this chorizo and butternut squash pasta is no exception.
Hearty, warm, and so completely soul satisfying. This will become your go-to fall past recipe, I just know it!
If you make Chorizo and Butternut Squash Pasta, let us know by leaving a review and rating below.
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For more fall recipes, check out the following:
- Cheddar biscuits with sage
- Braised short ribs with rye
- Goat cheese quiche with butternut squash
- Easy chorizo cassoulet
- Chocolate bourbon pecan pie
Linguine and Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 lb chorizo casings removed
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 12-15 fresh sage leaves plus 2 Tbsp, finely chopped
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 1 lb linguine or pasta of your choice
- Preheat oven to 375F. Combine squash in a large bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Toss and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until slightly browned and tender, tossing once halfway through cook time.
- While squash is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Add sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove chorizo and place in a bowl.
- In the same skillet, add the sliced red onion. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are tender.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a few tablespoons of salt, then add linguine and cook until al dente. Before draining reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water.
- Heat ¼ cup canola or veggie oil over high heat in a small skillet. When very hot, add 12-15 sage leaves, but cook for only a few seconds! Quickly remove with a slotted spoon or large fork and place in a paper-towel lined bowl. Season immediately with a little kosher salt and set aside. (Note: if oil is not hot enough, sage leaves will not get crispy — they'll be soggy and oily.)
- In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, chorizo, red onion, butternut squash, 2 Tbsp chopped sage, ½ cup mascarpone cheese, and ¼ cup parmesan. Toss until cheese has melted and everything is evenly coated. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time until sauce has reached your desired consistency. Top with crispy sage leaves and additional Parmesan cheese, if wanted.
Just cooked this and it was an absolute hit!
I made a couple of changes based on what was readily available in the shops / already in my freezer. I used a pre cooked chorizo which still worked well and went nice and crispy. I also used frozen butternut squash chunks. I found the squash went very soft and didn’t keep its shape when I mixed all the ingredients together, but it just made for a thick, delicious sauce so I’m not mad! I added more pasta water than suggested to loosen it up a bit. Perhaps the texture of the squash was different because I used frozen over fresh.
Regardless of changes the flavours are all delicious. Chorizo + squash + garlic + sage… you really can’t go wrong. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the use of cinnamon too which is not usually my favourite.
I’m sure I’ll be making this again (though it’s definitely more of an Autumn dish so maybe in a few months!)
Thanks so much Ari- great as always 😊
Ari Laing says
Oh man, now I’m craving these fall flavors! Sounds like you absolutely made it work with what you’ve got on hand. And yes, it’s juuuuust enough cinnamon to add a little something special without overwhelming! xo, Ari
It was just my husband and I this year for Thanksgiving so we decided to make something a bit different. We loved it! Flavors of the holiday with a modern twist. I did make my own chirezo using ground turkey instead of store bought. I also used the oil I fried the sage in while sautéing the chirezo and onions. (I hate wasting anything, even oil). We loved it! Thank you so much for the recipe!
Ari Laing says
That sounds like an amazing meal for a smaller Thanksgiving. So glad you enjoyed (and that homemade chorizo sounds delish!!). xo, Ari