Tortellini with Butternut Squash
(from Real Simple and modified)
Note: This is a perfect vegetarian dish if you stick with the mushrooms and don't add the sausage.
1 small butternut squash (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1/2 lb button or Cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and halved if large
** Instead of mushrooms, I used 1 lb. ground Sweet Italian Sausage **
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves or 2 TBS dried sage leaves
2 TBS olive oil (I used more than that)
Salt and pepper
1 lb. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini (I used fresh 4-cheese tortellini)
2 oz. Fontina or Gruyere Cheese, grated (1/2 cup) plus more for serving
** The skin of the squash is very hard to cut, so it's a good idea to ask the produce person to at least cut in into long quarters **
Heat oven to 450 degrees. On 2 rimmed baking sheets (disposable cookie sheets) toss the squash and mushrooms (if used) with the sage, oil and salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 20-25 minutes. (My hotter-than-normal oven cooked it in 13 minutes.)
Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid before draining.
Brown the sausage in a large frying pan. Drain.
Add the tortellini, squash and mushrooms to the sausage. Add 1/4 cup (or more if needed) of the cooking liquid if pasta seems dry. Add the cheese and mix. Taste and season if necessary. Sprinkle with a bit more Fontina right before serving.