The look of the pasta sauce reminds me of a macaroni & cheese sauce, but this creamy sauce is simply roasted butternut squash and half-and-half. I followed Martha Stewart's recipe, but I had a large butternut squash so I added part to the sauce, and served the remainder with the pasta.
I hate cutting butternut squash and I've got a scar to prove it, but believe me, it's so worth it to make this pasta sauce. Plus, I saw a handy one minute video on Facebook yesterday which makes cutting winter squash so much less painful.
How to Cut a Butternut Squash -
- Pierce squash with a fork a few times.
- Microwave for a minute or two depending on the size of the squash.
- Chop off both ends, then stand it up and slice it down the middle.
- With a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works best), remove the seeds and discard.
- Chop each half into thirds, then run the knife down the side to peel the skin away.
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove any remaining skin.
I was amazed at how easy this method was, and it's now my go-to way to cut a butternut squash. That means I no longer need to wait for Chris to get home to hack the squash for me.
A couple years ago I saw a tip to use a ziploc bag to season vegetables that were going to be roasted, and it's such a fantastic tip that I've used that method ever since. I know, I know it's not green to throw away a bag each time I roast vegetables, but it works really well.
Just five garlic cloves get added to the roasting pan, but the flavor of roasted garlic really shines through in this recipe.
In fact, I ran to the store while I was roasting the squash and garlic, and was amazed at how great my kitchen smelled when I returned. Roasted garlic seems like a powerful secret ingredient to me.
By the way, the reason I had to leave part-way through roasting is because I needed to buy half-and-half. There are so few ingredients in this recipe, and yet I still wasn't prepared.
The half-and-half led to a very creamy sauce, but I'm not convinced it's the only ingredient that will work for this pasta sauce. I plan to experiment the next time I make this recipe.
I received my first fall/winter CSA box a couple days ago, and it was filled with greens, which is why I added some to this recipe. It turned out to be a great addition. I added a mix of kohlrabi leaves, beet leaves, and spinach.
I prefer to wash and prep the greens as soon as I get them, even though they will spoil faster that way. A couple months ago I started using Rubbermaid Produce Saver containers that I bought at Woodmans, and my greens are staying fresh much longer now.
This is a great meal to have this time of year, and one that I know I'll be making again soon! Although maybe not with beet leaves again because when I heated up the leftovers today I noticed they dyed the pasta pink :)
Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 cloves garlic, peel on
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 pound of any short pasta, such as penne
- 4-6 cups of hearty greens (such as spinach, chard or kale), torn into bite-size pieces
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce squash a few times with a fork, then microwave for two minutes. Cut the ends off, then stand it up and slice it down the middle.
- With a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works best), remove the seeds and discard. Chop each half into thirds, then run the knife down the side to peel the skin away. Finally, use a vegetable peeler to remove any remaining skin.
- Cut squash into 1-inch chunks and place in a large ziploc bag. Add oil, sage, salt and pepper. Shake bag until squash is evenly coated.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then transfer squash in an even layer. Scatter garlic around squash. Roast for 20 minutes, toss once, then bake for another 15-20 minutes until the squash is very tender.
- Remove and discard skin from the garlic. Divide squash in half, leaving half on the pan, and adding the other half to a food processor, along with the peeled garlic.
- Turn the food processor on, then add half-and-half through the feed tube; process until smooth. If you would like a thinner sauce, add 1 to 2 cups of water or vegetable broth.
- In a pot large enough to hold the pasta and greens, cook pasta according to package instructions. With three minutes remaining of pasta cook time, add the hearty greens to the same pot.
- Drain pasta and greens, then return to the pot. Add the butternut squash pieces and butternut squash sauce. Toss to coat, and serve.
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