As you can imagine, I was more than happy to accept her offer of a few to take home and have been on the hunt ever since for something to do with it other than soup (although I absolutely adore butternut squash soup and have tried several delicious recipes!). Recently I came across this pasta sauce recipe on Pinterest (of course) and decided to give it a whirl!
This sauce is really very simple to prepare. The only time consuming part is baking the squash, which could easily be done ahead of time. You can even make large batches of squash puree and freeze them in 3 cup amounts to have on hand when you need a quick go-to sauce for a weeknight meal! How easy would that be??
And, as usual, the squash does not disappoint. It is smooth and nutty as always, and combined with the flavors of sage and Parmesan, it makes a delicious addition to your favorite pasta.
Oh, and that amazing side dish you see in the picture? The one with the almonds? And more Parmesan? That's my sis-in-love's fantabulous roasted zucchini that ever since this summer has been my absolute favorite way to eat zucchini. I could seriously eat a whole bowl of THAT for dinner. Oh, now you want the recipe? Well, you're in luck! It just so happens I know the lady who wrote a blog post about that... ;) You can thank me later.
Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce
slightly adapted from Good Life Good Eats
1 butternut squash (about 2 1/2 lb.- if using pre-made puree, this takes about 3 cups)
12 oz. penne pasta (or other favorite!)
1 TB olive oil
1 shallot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground sage (or use 1 TB fresh!)
1 tsp parsley (or 1 TB fresh! If using fresh parsley, add with lemon juice at the end of cooking)
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
broth or water as needed to thin sauce
Preheat oven to 350. Cut the squash lengthwise in half (see here for an easy way to do this!) and scoop out strings and seeds. Place squash cut sides down in a glass baking dish and add 1/4 cup water. Bake about 40 min. or until easily pierced with a fork. Cool 10 minutes, then scoop flesh from skins. Puree squash in a blender or food processor or using a stick blender until smooth.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, make sauce. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a wide skillet.
Add shallots and cook about 5 min., or until soft and translucent.
Add squash puree and cook about another minute, stirring to combine.
Add milk a little at a time, stirring continuously to incorporate.
Stir in cheese and spices. If needed, add water or broth to thin the sauce to your liking. When sauce is hot, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice (and fresh parsley, if using).
Serve over hot pasta with extra cheese and herbs if desired.