Handmade cavatelli

Patriots chef Steve Difillippo's pasta is full of flavor and incredibly light.

Carb-loading isn't just for marathoners—football players also love pasta. Here, New England Patriots chef Steve DiFillippo shares the dish he'll serve at Taste of the NFL.

Serves 5

4 links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small shallot, finely diced
8 ounces butternut squash, diced into small pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
½ cup truffle butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups fresh cavatelli
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
5 finely sliced black truffle shavings

1. Sauté sausage links in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to break up, until cooked through.

2. Add shallots and squash, and continue to cook until soft. Add garlic and cook another minute.

3. Add stock and simmer uncovered for about three minutes, or until the stock has reduced by half.

4. Add truffle butter and season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

5. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta until al dente.

6. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, and add the sauce to the pasta. (Add a little water if the sauce seems too thick.)

To serve: Divide into individual bowls and top with chopped basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and one slice of black truffle. Serve immediately.