The other night I was at my friend’s house and we were talking about squash [my friends and I talk about food A LOT] and how delicious it is. And that reminded me that I made this really quick and tasty butternut squash pasta over a month ago and hadn’t posted it yet. Kind of makes me wish I listened to my husband’s advice of always having a backlog of blogs ready to post every week. It makes so much sense, and yet.. I still haven’t done it. Nor, to be perfectly honest, will I. For some reason I just like to make things difficult.
Luckily, this recipe is pretty easy and since I had a giant mutant squash, I was able to make both the pasta and an unfortunately dense butternut squash bread as well. Note to self: there actually is a reason to use baking powder. But we’re talking about a success here, not fail bread. The first step to this is to roast a butternut squash until tender, to build the right base for the sauce.
Butternut Squash Puree
1 butternut squash, halved
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix together spices and set aside. Spread softened butter on both halves of the squash and then sprinkle with the spice mixture. Pour water into a 9 x 13 pan and then add the squash, cut side up. Roast for 50 – 60 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
Once the squash is cool enough to be handled, scoop out the insides and add it to your food processor in batches. Puree until smooth. Set aside until ready to make pasta. [Please note awesome cat measuring cups that my friend gave me for Christmas!]
Butternut Squash Pasta
8 oz spaghetti
1.5 cups butternut squash puree
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a pot of salted water to boiling. Add in pasta and let cook until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 pasta water. In a medium sized pot, heat the butter until just starting to turn foamy. Add in the minced rosemary and cook until fragrant. Add in the milk and let that come up to temperature, stirring frequently to avoid a skin forming on top. Then add in the butternut squash and the cheese. Let that come up to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until combined well; slowly add in some of the reserved pasta water until the sauce is the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine sauce with the drained pasta and serve immediately.
This is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet. The sauce is silky thanks to the milk and coats the pasta perfectly. The spices in the squash worked really well in flavoring the dish overall. This would also be great with some shrimp or grilled chicken served alongside it.