1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
4 chicken & apple sausage links, sliced into rounds
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound rigatoni
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400º. In a large bowl, toss squash, sausage, garlic, red chili flakes (adjust to make less or more spicy), salt & pepper with about 2 tablespoons olive oil until well coated. Pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes until squash is tender. Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt water and add pasta (cook according to package directions). Drain pasta when al dente, and place in a large serving bowl.
3. Meanwhile, make the brown butter sauce: heat a stainless steel pan over medium heat. Add butter, whisking until melted. Continue cooking about 3 minutes until butter solids foam and turn slightly brown. Add pecans and saute another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
4. Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese, then top with the butternut squash, and sausage. Pour brown butter and pecan mixture over the top and gently toss with two spoons, making sure not to mash the squash. Serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese and garnish with fresh chopped chives.