When setting out to make this butternut squash pasta I was first planning to make lasagna, but when it came time to start planning and prepping for this recipe, I realized I could achieve similar flavors with a simpler pasta dish instead. I also knew I wanted the dish to feel cozy and decadent so I was thinking about a cream sauce, but I didn’t want to rely on cheese or heavy cream. So how was I going to achieve that?
Well as some of you may know, I am a pediatric feeding therapist and if you don’t know, you’re probably asking yourself “what in the world is a feeding therapist?” and you wouldn’t be alone. I can go on that soap box later but for now, I’ll keep it short and sweet: I help kids be safe and comfortable during feeding. Now how does this relate to this recipe? Well the family of one of my patients brought butternut squash puree for their child the same week I was thinking about this recipe. The texture was smooth and creamy, just like you’d want a pasta sauce to be. That’s when I decided to ditch the idea of a cream sauce and make the sauce from the butternut squash itself.
The results look and taste like a fancy date night dish but in reality this comes together very easily. Once the butternut squash and garlic are roasted (which you can do days ahead if needed), all that’s left to do is puree all of the sauce ingredients, sauté the kale and mushrooms, and cook the pasta.
Butternut Squash PastaCourse: MainDifficulty: Easy
Pasta with creamy butternut squash sauce and topped with kale and mushrooms.
1 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup non-dairy milk
1 bulb of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
14 oz. Fettuccine or other pasta
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 lb crimini mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
6-8 sage leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon of salt, plus more for salting pasta water
½ teaspoon red chili flakes (more or less to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Coat in olive oil and place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Peel and discard the outer paper-like layer of garlic bulb, keeping the peels on the individual cloves of garlic and the bulb intact. Cut off the top of the top of the cloves. Wrap the entire bulb in foil and place on a baking sheet along with the squash. If you need a better visual for roasting the garlic, https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_garlic/ has a great video that shows how to peel and cut the garlic. Instead of following the video using the muffin tin, you can wrap it in foil and place on the baking sheet with the butternut squash as listed above.
- Once the oven is preheated, roast for 30 minutes until soft or a knife is easily inserted into squash and the garlic is soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes for easier handling. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh of butternut squash and roasted garlic (or give it a squeeze) and place in a food processor or blender along with the remaining sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chopped mushrooms and cook for 6-8 minutes until mushrooms soften and darken. Add sage and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add kale with ¼ cup of water and cover. Allow to steam for 3-4 minutes until the kale is beginning to soften but still bright green in color. Season with salt and chili flakes.
- Once pasta is ready, return pasta to the hot pot and add in sauce along with kale and mushroom mixture. Stir to combine. Serve and top with Parmesan cheese if desired.
- You can prep the sauce 2-3 days ahead of time to save time on the day you’re planning to serving.