Roasted Butternut Squash, Sausage and Orecchiette Pasta in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce

There are only a handful of recipes that make me close my eyes and moan while I eat them. Right off the top of my head, well… there’s this recipe {scary good}, then there was this recipe. Oh! And this recipe and how could I forget this recipe {which may have freaked some of you out but I totally love it}. Now I can add this little ditty to the stack. I may even put it on the very tippy-top!

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This recipe really should be called Autumn-in-a-bowl. It is warm, toasty and smothered in butter with a hint of sage. Today, dinner just sort of happened. I had the pasta for a while now… then a week ago, I spied these chicken sausages at the grocery store, so I threw them in the cart {best $6 I ever spent}… then stumbled on the butternut squash at the farmers market down the road two days later. The whole brown butter sage sauce and walnuts thing was all I could think about for weeks, and needed to pour it over something, and quick. So I made pasta. And I sprinkled it with walnuts. Then I died… and went to heaven.

Excited yet? I am!

To get it done and out of the way, quickly toast the walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Snack on a few and set aside.

Peel and cube up enough butternut squash to equal two cups or so. Because my squash was so HUGE I just used the top portion and saved the rest for something else.

Toss the cubed squash in a bowl with salt, pepper and the tablespoon of dark brown sugar.

Now the trick I have for you here is to stick your pan in your oven while it’s preheating to 375 degrees. Spread out the squash on to the hot pan, you should hear a little sizzle-sizzle.

Stick it back in the oven for 20 minutes or so until the squash is tender. By doing this you shouldn’t have a problem with the squash sticking to the pan. Genius. I know. Just remember to put your oven mitts back on when you place them into the oven to cook. Ouch!

Meanwhile sear up the chicken sausages on all sides.


Slice them up…

Then add them back into the same pan to brown and get all crispy again.

Measure out 3 cups of the orecchiette pasta.

Pour the pasta into the salted boiling water and cook, as the package directs, to al dente. Drain. Easy.

In a large mixing bowl; add the cooked pasta, chicken sausage and roasted butternut squash.

Get out a stick of cold butter… I cut mine in half, not sure why.

I had a {clean} 10 inch pan heating on medium-high for a few minutes, and when I knew it was smoking hot I dropped in the butter, lifted and swirled the pan around… then added the sage. I used 8 or 9 small sage leaves {fyi}. The butter should instantly melt down and turn a brownish golden color and bubble up. Here’s a video just in case you need another visual.

When the butter is all browned, pour it over the ingredients in the bowl. Probably the easiest sauce I’ve ever made.

Then add in the toasted walnuts.


And serve! I found that I liked mine with a little black pepper… I didn’t need any extra salt because of the salted butter… but taste and season to your liking.

During dinner my youngest showed me… this “worker” guy. 🙂



Roasted Butternut Squash, Sausage and Orecchiette Pasta in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Yield: 4-6 servings


Olive Oil

1 pkg {of four} Chicken Sausages {like sun-dried tomato & basil}

3 cups Orecchiette Pasta

1 Butternut Squash, cubed {about 2 cups}

1 tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar

4 ounces Walnuts, toasted

1 stick of Salted Butter

8 small Sage Leaves

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper


Slide a small baking sheet into your oven and preheat it to 375 degrees.

In a small dry pan, toast walnuts over medium heat until fragrant. Remove and set aside.

Peel and cube up two cups of butternut squash. In a bowl, toss the squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and dark brown sugar. {With oven mitts} remove pan, add the squash to the hot pan and place back into the oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring once during the cooking time. Remove once the squash is tender.

In a skillet; add a little olive oil and sear the chicken sausages over medium heat on all sides. Remove, slice and add back into the pan to crisp on all sides.

To a pot of {salted} boiling water; add in the three cups of orecchiette pasta. Cook as directed on package to al dente. Drain.

In a large bowl; combine the sausage, pasta and butternut squash.

Heat a 10 inch skillet on medium/ medium-high heat. Place the stick of cold butter into the hot pan, lift and swirl the butter. Add in the sage leaves and keep swirling until the butter has completely melted, should be a deep brown color.

Pour the brown butter sage sauce over pasta, toss and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle toasted walnuts over top and serve immediately!

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35 Responses to “Roasted Butternut Squash, Sausage and Orecchiette Pasta in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce”

  1. #
    Bev Weidner — October 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Worker man! ha!

    Every single thing you put in this dish DID in fact make me moan.

    Mission accomplished.

  2. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    haha! i love the little sausage guy and his hat…that's exactly why i love orecchiette pasta! so fun to eat and play with. and this is the definition of autumn in a bowl 🙂

  3. #
    Laura Jeanne — October 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Oh Laura, Laura, Laura…. You always know how to impress me each and every day. This dish not only looks beautiful and perfect for the fall but it sounds like a truffle treat for dinner. I would love to try this.
    Love your blog, and as always…inspired to cook!
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño

  4. #
    Jill — October 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I love your blog….and this recipe is absolutely fabulous! Can't wait to get to the store to buy ingredients for supper tonight!

  5. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — October 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Bev~ 🙂 Glad I could make you moan this early in the morning 😉

    Heather~ Couldn't agree with you more!

    Laura~ Thanks! That's such a nice compliment! 🙂

    Jill~ Thanks so much! I'm glad you do! Come back and tell me all about it!

  6. #
    Jessica @ How Sweet — October 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    i am totally drooling. dying for a big bowl of this.

  7. #
    Judith — October 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I have put it in my list of recipes to cook soon. It looks delicious and as I tried more of your recipes I am sure it will be nice.

  8. #
    Lauren's Latest — October 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    All of that brown butter has won me over! Amazing! And, I love those sausages! One of my favorite kinds/brands!

  9. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — October 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Jessica~ I'm on my way with the leftovers!

    Judith~ Put it at the top! It's fab!

    Lauren~ I wish someone had told me sooner how flippin awesome those things are! My new favorite!:)

  10. #
    Maria @ Orchard Bloom — October 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    This looks amazing! I'm adding it to my list of things to try.

  11. #
    Jennifer — October 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Wow – we are on the same wavelength lately!! I made something similar this week with gluten-free pasta (not low-carb). I could have used Dreamfields Pasta and would have preferred that but DH cannot have the gluten.

  12. #
    Julie at Burnt Carrots — October 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    There is not much better than butternut squash and sage! This looks amazing and I will be trying it this weekend! Thanks for sharing

  13. #
    Grubarazzi — October 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    A beautiful post. I love this dish.

  14. #
    Jennifurla — October 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    oh my, what I wouldnt do to trade my lunch for this one…

  15. #
    Margaret Murphy Tripp — October 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I love orecchiette and want some of this RIGHT NOW!!! Butter and sausage and squash, OH MY!

  16. #
    Abby — October 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    ok, wow, this would be perfect right now! What great flavors.

  17. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — October 17, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I need this pasta in my belly right now!! All of it looks so delicious!

  18. #
    Apple — October 18, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Brown butter sage sauce, I can taste it now! Maybe I can get my other half to eat sausages if I cook them up like this.

  19. #
    Taylor — October 18, 2011 at 1:15 am

    YUM! This looks amazing. I love the tip of pre-heating the pan before putting the butternut squash on it! I always have squash sticking to my pans when I roast it.

  20. #
    April — October 18, 2011 at 1:49 am

    I just put something similar on my menu for this week, but I will be using gnocchi. Didn't consider the sage butter, but now I will. Yum.

  21. #
    SavithaRaj's Spice Land — October 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Your pics are so temptig………

  22. #
    CouponClippingCook — October 19, 2011 at 6:05 am

    How cute was that worker man comment! The pasta totally looked like a hard hat. Love this recipe, sounds so hearty and delish. Also loved the video too!

  23. #
    Cassie//Bake Your Day — October 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Drool! I've been eating a lot of butternut squash lately, I must try it with brown butter. And the sage, oh my, what a great addition. Orecchiette is one of my favorite pastas, I love the shape. This is perfect, Laurie!

  24. #
    Mandy @ Cater to Me — October 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Wow, this look incredible! I love brown butter on anything, and orecchiette just happens to be my favorite kind of pasta. This looks like absolutely perfect comfort food.

  25. #
    jen b — October 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I have been dreaming about this ever since you posted it! I finally made it today and Oh My Gosh! Best thing I ever ate! My family won't touch it, so I get ALL the leftovers for next week! Thanks so much for posting this!

  26. #
    Encore — November 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    This was unbelievable!!! I can't wait to make it again. Of course I had to share with my legions of adoring fans (read: 2 faithful readers) and of course I linked back to you! Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe!

  27. #
    Steph — January 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    This was amazing! First time working with butternut squash, i almost gave up because it was so hard to cut. Good thing my hubby was there to help 🙂

  28. #
    theayers5 — April 19, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I've made three of your recipes in the last 10 days and they have all been outstanding! This one was my favorite…wow, the flavor combination here is just perfection! So, so delicious! Girl, you know how to throw together a fabulous dinner! Thank you so much for sharing these creations with us! My inspiration was waning but I'm on fire again, thanks to you! (And meeting my quota of

  29. #
    Michelle Thomas — October 11, 2012 at 6:26 am

    That was fabulous! Just made it tonight… You’re a genius. I was able to find “fresh” tomato-basil chicken sausages at the butcher. Yum.

  30. #
    Sarah Trank — November 29, 2012 at 5:48 am

    I am in LOVE with this dish!! I made it for the second time tonight, to bring to my sister in law after the arrival of her second child. I couldn’t help saving a little bit for myself! Thanks so much!!

  31. #
    cleartrampoline — December 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Oh this pasta is so right up my alley, making it for dinner tonight!! 🙂

  32. #
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