Pasta Sausage ‘Soup’ with Butternut Squash and Sugar Snaps

Expectations:

This is another super-fast weeknight option, even with peeling and chopping the butternut squash, I made it happen inside of 25 minutes.  Sugar snap peas are delicious but could easily be replaced with frozen peas.

Time: If the sausage is not frozen, this is 20 – 25 minutes total time.

Serves: 4 to 5.  This feeds my family of 4 people, 2 adults and 2 kids 1 time, with a little extra for a single (i.e. lunch to take into work) serving of leftovers.

Kid modifications:  If your kids are not into soup yet (my oldest is not) then it’s easy to skim the pasta and vegetables out with a slotted spoon and serve them without any ‘liquid’, not touching each other as ‘a la carte’ items on the same plate (see pictures).  I presented the adult servings in shallow soup bowls with the cooking broth.  My youngest had a couple of ‘spoonfuls’ of the broth and was delighted to ‘enjoy soup’ like a big girl with us.  If sausage is not to someone’s liking, it’s also easy to omit it when you serve.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb. of sausage (casings removed) — I used sweet Italian sausage from my freezer stash.
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups (about half of a large) butternut squash.
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar snap peas, stem ends removed.  Can substitute with 1/3 cup of frozen peas.
  • 4 cups of water seasoned with about 1 – 2 tsp. of kosher salt
  • 1 cup (1/2 of a 16 oz. package) of dried pasta of your choosing.  With this dish, the ‘shorter’ shapes work well (i.e. penne, farfalle, short fussili).
  • Optional:  1 or 2 large sprigs of sage leaves, cut into small pieces.
  • Optiona: 1/4 cup of grated pecorino or parmesan cheese to garnish finished plates.
Trimmed sugar snap peas & butternut squash cube
Note when I work with sugar snap peas, I like to line them all up & use a long chef’s knife to cut the ends off all together on each side.

Steps to Put This On Your Table:

1. Using a wide high sided pan or shallow stock pot, sauté sausage (medium high) , butternut squash (and sage if using) for about 6 – 7 minutes until browned on all sides.

2. Add the water and when it comes to a boil, add the pasta, stir gently then cover and reduce the heat slightly to medium for the mixture to simmer (9 – 10 minutes or according to the package instructions for your pasta).

3. Add the sugar snap (or frozen if substituting) peas during the last 2 – 3 minutes of cooking time.

4. The squash should be soft (but not mushy) and the pasta will be al dente at this point.  Skim the kids’ portion from the broth to serve, without anything touching each other.  For grown up plates include the cooking broth and serve in shallow bowls.  Optional, garnish with pecorino or parmesan cheese.

Simple weeknight pasta, butternut squash, pea & sausage 'soup'
Simple weeknight pasta, butternut squash, pea & sausage ‘soup’.
Kid's plate pasta, butternut squash & sugar snap peas
Kid’s plate pasta, butternut squash & sugar snap peas

Enjoy!

What do you think? If you give it a try or have questions, please let me know in the comments.
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