Many years ago when my husband was stationed in Italy, shortly after I moved there to join him, he was sent away to Germany for many weeks to undergo training in preparation for his next deployment.
I was young, living in a foreign country with a rudimentary knowledge of the language, and without many friends. It just so happened that the second week he was gone it was my birthday…feeling slightly melodramatic at our separation and lonely I decided I was in need of a cheering up so I hopped a train to Venice. Because who can feel melancholy in such a beautiful place, right?
That day I walked aimlessly about the city, neither going to museums or tourist attractions, just soaking in the beauty of a place so old and so unchanged.
When it was time for lunch I stopped by a cafe on the Grand Canal, just in view of the Rialto Bridge (Ponte de Rialto) and I ordered the house special-a Penne Bolognese that was like heaven. Seriously-amazing.
Today I’m sharing with you my own take on that beautiful meal in Venice, with the addition of butternut squash, one of my favorite foods! Whenever my husband has to go out in the field or deploy, I like to make this dish for myself and my boys to remind me of that time in Venice and how no matter how bleak or lonely things may be, there’s always beauty around us if we look. (And it might be a little easier to find in Venice, but you get the point!!)
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Butternut Squash and Sausage Penne Bolognese
Hearty Bolognese sauce enriched with butternut squash and sausage and tossed with penne pasta.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 6
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Italian
- 16 oz Penne Pasta
- Butternut Squash
- 16 oz Mild Ground Sausage
- World Market Jarred Bolognese Sauce
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Chop butternut squash into small 1/2″ cubes.
- In a medium saucepan heat olive oil and add squash, mixing until browned.
- Add sausage to saucepan and brown.
- Add bolognese sauce to saucepan, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- In the meantime, boil penne until cooked al dente.
- Drain pasta and toss with sauce, garnish with parmesan or herbs as desired.