Butternut Squash Pasta

butternutsquash (1)I’ve been freezing all day (maybe because I work in an office) and I just craved something comforting and warm. I know, I’m weird because it was so hot outside. I’ve had a butternut squash sitting on my counter for weeks and haven’t had the time to make something delicious out of it. Butternut squash is so versatile and today I decided to make a pasta sauce with it. I love how creamy it gets when you blend it up. It is so smooth and flavorful, but without the cream! This recipe can even act as a butternut squash soup if you don’t want to add all the yummy carbs to it. I will definitely be making this again. Oh, and did I mention it is OIL-FREE? I’m trying to cook with as little or no oil as possible these days. I love how it is both healthy and comforting. We ate it with roasted brussels sprouts…mmm. IMG_0395 IMG_0397 IMG_0398IMG_0403(Recipe adapted from Cookie + Kate)

Butternut Squash Pasta

  • 2 pound butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional; up to ¼ teaspoon for spicier pasta sauce)
  • Sea salt and/or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, and a little extra for cooking the squash
  • 12 ounces whole grain rotini, linguine or fettucine
  • Optional additional garnishes: shaved Parmesan or Pecorino and/or smoked salt
Add squash, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to skillet. Add a splash of vegetable broth to prevent it from burning. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is soft and liquid is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
Once the squash mixture is done cooking, remove it from heat and let it cool slightly. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender. Reserve the skillet. Purée the mixture until smooth (beware of hot steam escaping from the top of the blender), then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine pasta, squash purée and ¼ cup cooking liquid in reserved skillet and cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve pasta topped with fried sage, more black pepper and shaved Parmesan/Pecorino and/or smoked salt, if desired.

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