I love butternut squash. It’s creamy, slightly sweet, and makes a perfect dairy-free and tomato-free base for pasta sauce. I’ve been making this recipe from Oh She Glows for over a year now, but I wanted to adapt it to come up with something simpler yet still delicious. I would probably enjoy puréed butternut squash on its own as a pasta sauce but I added a few more ingredients to give it more flavour. And some greens because I couldn’t let butternut squash be the lone vegetable in this dish. However, if you have picky eaters at home who will not eat the greens, feel free to omit them.
Yield: approximately 4 servings
- 340g package penne pasta
- 1 medium-large butternut squash
- 5 cups chopped spinach or kale
- 2 tbsp grass fed butter (or vegan alternative such as earth’s balance)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425*F. Slice off the stem of the butternut squash as well as the opposite end and then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and place the 2 halves flesh side down in a casserole dish with an inch of water. Place in oven for 30-40 mins until the skin starts to brown and wrinkle slightly.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain and set aside. Tip: adding a little oil to the cooking water and then rinsing the cooked pasta immediately in a colander with cold water will keep it from getting mushy and sticking together.
3. Scoop out the butternut squash flesh, place in a blender and purée. Set aside.
4. Heat butter in the same pot you cooked the pasta in. Add crushed garlic and sauté for 2-3 mins. Add chopped spinach or kale and cook for 4-5 mins. Stir in 2 cups of butternut squash purée, mustard powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir well, and cook for about 5 more mins to thicken the sauce.
5. Pour over pasta and top with grated Parmesan cheese if you like.
Note: if you get more than 2 cups of butternut squash purée, you can refrigerate or freeze the extra for later.