Although I find garlic can be over-used and over-powering I still think that every once and awhile an excess of garlic can really make a dish. Plus, when you have 3 whole heads of garlic, and you know you won’t use them fast enough – why not roast a whole head and center a recipe around it?
This roasted garlic pasta recipe also includes italian sausage, butternut squash and a creamy tomato sauce. To save time I highly recommend you roast the garlic and the squash the night before when you are prepping dinner, if you do that you can bring this recipe together in less than 45 minutes.
Sausage Rotini with a Roasted Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce(serves 4)
First preheat your oven to 375F to roast your squash and garlic. To roast the squash, cut in quarters lengthwise and remove seeds. Toss with a teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place skin side down on a baking tray. Put in oven and toast for an hour or until soft when poked with a fork and cooked through.
For the garlic use a sharp knife to trim off the bottom of the garlic, you want to slice off just enough to expose each of the cloves. Rub the exposed cloves with a touch of olive oil. Wrap in foil leaving cut side up and place in oven. The garlic will take about 35-45 minutes or until fragrant and very soft.
Note: both of these can be done the day before to make your life easier.
Now when you are ready to make the pasta place a pot of water on to boil, a heavy Dutch oven on to medium low heat and turn the oven on to 375F. Place butter in the Dutch oven along with diced onion and a pinch of salt. Sweat until soft.
Add the sausage meat to the pan and turn heat up to medium. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up and cook until browned and cooked through. Squeeze the garlic out of the head and into the pan, stir to combine. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of flour and allow to cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Slowly stir in the milk and cream and bring to a simmer. Add in another big pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Simmer for 8 minutes or until thickened. Stir in tomatoes and break them apart.
Meanwhile when the water is boiling, salt it heavily and then cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain, run under cold water to stop the cooking and reserve. (If you are going to bake it, make sure you leave it on the al dente side.)
Remove the skin from the butternut squash and dice the flesh. Stir in to the sauce. Also stir in half of the mozzarella and half of the chives. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in pasta and double check the seasoning. Garnish with remaining cheese and chives. Bake in oven until the cheese is nice and melty.