Fall Flavors Pasta Bake

It may have been almost eighty degrees here today, but we wanted fall flavors. So I put together all our favorites into one yummy dish. I wanted a really sage filled sausage so I made it myself with ground pork and it was yummy. I will include my sausage recipe here, but you can make this easier if you just buy a sage breakfast sausage. Just add a few of the spices I put in my sausage into the dish if you use store bought sausage.


1 pound ground pork

1T. Garlic powder

1T. Fennel seeds

1 t. Anise seeds

1/2 t. Paprika

1/4 t. Cayenne pepper

1 T. Salt

1 T. Ground black pepper

2 T. Ground sage

3 pinches of red pepper flakes

In a dry fry pan put the fennel and anise seeds and toast on medium heat until they start they smell. Using a mortar and pestle grind them up.

Mix all the spices with the pork.

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced in 3/4 inch cubes

2 fennel bulbs, sliced thinly

Giant bag of baby spinach

1 T. Oil

1/2 t. Nutmeg

1 pound of rigatoni

1 cup of Quattro formagi Trader Joe’s cheese

1/2 c. Grated gruyere

1 cup grated Parmensan

Preheat oven to 450°. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and spray with Pam. Lay out butternut squash in single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 25 minutes, until the squash starts to turn brown. When cooked put a pinch of nutmeg on squash.

Put a big pot of water on the stove to cook the rigatoni according to package directions less one minute. Don’t put the rigatoni in water until you have started the fennel.

In fry pan, crumble up sausage and cook on medium heat until done, about seven minutes. Remove the meat from the pan,leaving the oil. Place the meat in a greased 9×13 baking dish.

Add the fennel to the fry pan that has the sausage grease in it and add oil. Cook fennel until wilted, about ten minutes on medium high heat. Salt and pepper the fennel and add to the meat in the baking dish.

Using the same fry pan put the spinach in and cover and heat for 30 seconds and remove from heat still covered until the spinach wilts. Sprinkle with a touch of nutmeg and add to the baking dish. It may take two batches to wilt all the spinach.

Add the rigatoni and the butternut squash to the baking dish and toss everything together. Add the Quattro formagi and the gruyere and toss. Sprinkle the Parmensan on top.

Reduce the oven heat to 300° and bake for 20 minutes, tenting with foil half way through.

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