Orecchiette Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Creamy Butternut Squash

Orecchiette Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Creamy Butternut Squash

This pasta is a shining star for a quick and easy everyday meal. Inspired by a southern Italian favorite pasta originally from Puglia, Italy. Made with lean homemade turkey sausage and creamy butternut squash with cremini mushrooms and kale that turn into the most delicious, highly pleasing sauce. Hands down, this is one of our favorite effortless meals.
Fun Facts: The word orecchiette translates to "Little Ears," deriving from their shape. It is also known that the little pasta shapes resemble the rooftops of traditional cone-shaped huts known as truli.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 781 kcal


  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta dried
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • 20 ounces ground turkey   93% lean, (1 pound 4 ounces) NOTE: See Turkey Sausage Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons shallot minced, about half a large shallot
  • 1  clove  garlic  minced and pasted
  • 24 ounces butternut squash medium diced
  • 3 cups pasta water  reserved
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced, about 1/4 inch.
  • 1 Tablespoon Cognac
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley  freshly rough chopped, used for garnish
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano freshly grated, used for garnish

Turkey Sausage Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon fennel dried, whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika hungarian, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon sage dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add a handful of kosher salt to the pasta water. Add 1 pound of orecchiette pasta. Stir occasionally; pasta cooking time is about 9-12 minutes. Cook until tender but still firm to the bite al dente "To tooth" Reserve 3 cups of pasta water. Drain pasta water through a colander and reserve.
  • Combine ground turkey and turkey sausage seasoning, mixing well. 
  • Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a pan. Add seasoned turkey meat. Add shallot and garlic. Break apart the turkey meat as it cooks. 
  • Add all squash and 2 cups of reserved pasta water. After the squash cooks down halfway, add mushrooms, herbs, and cognac. Continue cooking until the squash has softened and condensed. Add Mascarpone cheese and the last cup of reserved pasta water. Stir until the mixture is combined. Reduce sauce until it becomes creamy and bubbly hot. 
  • Toss sauce with 4-5 cups of pasta. Garnish with parsley and Parmigiano, and serve. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  • Garnish with parsley and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. 
  • Note: Eyeball the pasta when adding it into the sauce; portions will yield a little over 1 cup servings. You can also add 1 cup of pasta per bowl and the sauce to the top. You will have a small amount of leftover pasta.


Calories: 781kcalCarbohydrates: 110gProtein: 22gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 343mgPotassium: 1145mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 19055IUVitamin C: 37mgCalcium: 206mgIron: 3mg
Keyword best pasta recipes, easy healthy weeknight dinners for family, butternut squash recipes, easy pasta dinner ideas, easy weekend meals, family friendly, good recipes for dinner, Italian recipes, mascarpone cheese pasta, pasta recipes with mushrooms, pasta with mascarpone, quick easy meals, quick healthy meals, quick pasta dinner ideas, simple mushroom pasta recipe, simple recipes, turkey sausage recipe, weenend dinner ideas
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
No Comments

Post A Comment
Recipe Rating