30 Minute Winter Meals: Pasta with Sausage, Leeks, Peas and Butternut Squash Sauce
Eating nutritiously this month has been wonderful for the whole family, but especially me. I previously mentioned that I gained a whopping 11 pounds at my last OBGYN doctor’s appointment, and this month I’m down 8 pounds, which surely means my efforts paid off. We’ve been eating well, but not extravagantly, and almost all of out meals have been tasty, easy on the wallet, and made good use of the things that are hanging out in the fridge looking for a facelift in the form of dinner.
In fact, the types of meals we’ve been enjoying are perfect for December. Since it’s the month when everything gets chaotic, something simple like making dinner can become challenging when there are so many other things competing for your time.
Here’s something I’ve been making for dinner lately that will hopefully help when you’re in a pinch for a meal. It’s quick cooking, nutritious, and easy to make. In fact, there is no real recipe here, just a set of instructions to guide you along to getting a good dinner on the table. Let’s get started:
Grab a box of whole-grain pasta from the pantry, and some turkey sausages, a leek, frozen peas, and the long neck of a small butternut squash. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta as per the package directions. While it’s cooking, peel and cube the squash and boil it in a small pot, cooking only until it can be pierced with a fork. Drain the pasta and set aside. Using the pot you cooked the pasta in, drizzle some olive oil into the middle, remove the sausages from their casings and cook in the warmed oil until crumbled and crispy. Add the leek (which has been thinly sliced) to the pan and cook until golden and soft. Add the peas and cook for another minute or so. Drain the squash and transfer to a food processor.
To the squash add a good glug of milk, salt and pepper to taste, and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Blend smooth to create a sauce. Place the pasta in the pot with the sausages and veggies and pour the squash sauce over top, tossing everything together. Serve this mac and cheese-esque dish to the family for dinner, pack up the leftovers for lunches, and congratulate yourself on getting a simple, seasonal dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes (plus your next day’s lunch, too).