November 03, 2012

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce & How to Cut a Butternut Squash

When I reached in my fridge this morning for orange juice and saw leftover butternut squash pasta, my first thought was "would it be weird to eat that for breakfast?"  That's how much I enjoyed this meal last night for dinner.

The look of the pasta sauce reminds me of a macaroni & cheese sauce, but this creamy sauce is simply roasted butternut squash, broth and half-and-half.  I followed Martha Stewart's recipe, but 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.

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce & Greens

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
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 12 oz of any short pasta, such as penne
  • 6 quarts water
  • 5 cups of hearty greens (such as chard or kale), chopped
  • 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 well), 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 1/2-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 arrange squash in an even layer. Add garlic to one corner of the pan. Roast for 15 minutes, toss once, then bake for another 15 minutes until the squash is very tender.
  • Remove and discard skin from the garlic. Divide squash in half, removing half to a small bowl and adding the other half plus peeled garlic to a blender (use the foil to funnel it into the blender), along with half-and-half and vegetable broth. Process until smooth.
  • In a large pot, bring water to a boil then cook pasta for 5 minutes. Add greens to the pot and cook pasta and greens for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Drain pasta and greens, then return to the pot. Add the butternut squash pieces and butternut squash sauce. Toss to coat, and serve.
Sauce recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart
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  1. Good tips on cutting the squash. I have actually avoided recipes that require this, it is so intimidating to me.

  2. I could probably drink this pasta sauce and be very happy about it. Sounds DELICIOUS!

  3. This looks so good. I've been eating a ton of squash lately. And I almost cut my finger off every time!

  4. Boy oh boy! you sure went to a lot of trouble taking all those beautiful photos!
    Looks delicious!

  5. Looks great, can't wait to try it.

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  7. This was so good. I used my butternut squash puree from my field goods delivery company. Added also marsala wine and added half and half and the bacon without blending it. My family love it. Had regular spaghetti and homemade garlic bread with it. Super good!