Peel, seed and cut a butternut squash into 1/2" chunks
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Place squash chunks in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Next add the raw Italian sausage, to the bowl, breaking the bulk sausage into smaller chunks. Mix squash and sausage together by hand, then season as desired with salt and pepper
Place squash/sausage mixture in an oven-proof baking dish – an 8" x 8" size or slightly larger should work well. Drizzle contents with maple syrup, and then add 3 Tablespoons of water to the dish
Bake uncovered on center rack of 425ºF about 35-45 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender and sausage has cooked through. If dish starts to brown too much while cooking, loosely tent with aluminum foil
Some water will likely remain in the bottom of the baking dish after cooking. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the squash and sausage from the baking dish to a serving dish, allowing the excess water to drain.
Taste the cooked mixture and stir in additional maple syrup or other seasonings if needed.
Garnish with chopped rosemary, thyme or crumbled bacon. Serve hot and enjoy!