Cook the Book – Three Sausage and Butternut Squash Sauce

I created this recipe for Curtis Custom Meats in Union, Maine several years ago.  We used to buy all of our meat from them, pre-the enormous freezer full of cuts of whole pig and cow from Terra Optima in Appleton.

This recipe makes a large pot of sauce – good for a big family dinner before or after Thanksgiving Day.  It also freezes well if you’ve a smaller group.  When I first created it, I thought I should cut it down to make it serve 4-6 people, but then all of the sausage comes in one pound pacakages.  So either you have all of these 1/2 pound bits of sausage, not to mention the 1/2 a butternut squash, or you’ve got your self a lot of sauce.  I went for the ‘lotta sauce’ knowing that everyone could use a dish that freezes well and cooks up in minutes for those crazy days when it’s either whatever you find in the freezer or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner.

Three Sausage and Butternut Squash Sauce

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound hot sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
1 pound sweet sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
1 pound garlic sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
3 large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons fresh basil, or 2 tablespoons dried
3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 cup red wine
6 cups peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes (or 2 16-ounce cans diced tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 500°.  Toss the squash with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 45 minutes or until the squash is cooked through (but not falling apart).  Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the sausages and sauté until they are lightly browned.  Add the onions, garlic, and seasonings and continue to cook until the onions are translucent.  Add the wine, tomatoes and salt; reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Add the squash and serve over your favorite pasta and garnish with the ricotta cheese and parsley.

Serves 12-16

Looking forward to a big family dinner

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