It’s been a while since a recipe (a post, really) has appeared on this here blog, but this one is a good one and worth the wait.
The other week, I made a Pinterest board dedicated to things I want to cook or bake this fall. It includes a recipe for pasta with a butternut squash sauce and sausage. I thought I might make the dish as an accompaniment to our Thanksgiving dinner. But I craved that sweet, autumnal butternut squash flavor now.
Last week, I picked up a jar of butternut squash pasta sauce at Aldi on a whim. I figured I would pour it over cheese ravioli for a quick meal, either for us or for the girls.
This week, I combined the two ideas into a unique and delicious, warm, comforting and hearty meal.
Baked Butternut Squash and Sausage Ravioli
This hearty bake with sweet Italian sausage and autumnal butternut squash pasta sauce is on the table in about 30 minutes, thanks to a package of frozen cheese ravioli and a jar of pasta sauce. Plus it’s covered in gooey mozzarella cheese. In the words of Ina Garten, ‘How bad can that be?’
1 package frozen cheese ravioli
20 ounces fresh sweet Italian turkey sausage (I used turkey sausage links and removed the casings. You easily could substitute pork sausage, in bulk or in links.)
2 cups butternut squash pasta sauce
1 ounce Neufchâtel cheese (or cream cheese)
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
Cook the ravioli according to the directions on the package, then drain them and set them aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, cook the sausage until browned. Add the pasta sauce and cream cheese and cook for just a few minutes, until the cream cheese is melted into the sauce and the sauce is warm. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted.
Spread the ravioli in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce and sausage over the ravioli. Arrange the sliced mozzarella over top.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the mozzarella is melted.
Christopher and I really enjoyed this dish. It was so delicious – sweet from the sauce (hooray squash!), savory from the sausage and creamy from the cheese ravioli – and hearty and just plain good. It was perfect for the rainy nights so far this week.