Monday, November 22, 2010

Yummy Butternut Squash Pasta sauce

I have been experimenting with squash. I have many from my CSA and I have aimed to use every single one. So when I read this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens I knew I had to give it a try - with some modification to accommodate my allergies and sensitivities.

Here is the recipe from which can be found here


  • 1  large  butternut squash, 2-3/4- 3-1/4 lbs., or 1-3/4 lbs. ready-cubed (6 cups)
  • 1  large  onion, finely chopped
  • 2  Tbsp.  olive oil
  • 3/4  tsp.  smoked paprika
  • 1  Tbsp.  unsalted butter
  • 3  Tbsp.  Marsala
  • 1/2  cup  water
  • 2/3  cup  pine nuts
  • 1  lb.  pappardelle or other robust pasta
  • 6    fresh sage leaves
  • 5  oz.  soft blue cheese, such as Saint Agur


1. Peel, halve, and seed the butternut squash; cut into roughly 1-inch cubes.
2. Cook onion in olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan that can accommodate the pasta later. When the onion starts to become golden, add the paprika.
3. Stir butter and squash into onion mixture in pan. Add Marsala and water. Bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer about 10 minutes or until squash is tender but still holds its shape.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to boiling; add hefty pinch of salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Toast pine nuts in a hot, dry frying pan o the stove top until dark gold. Pour them into a bowl or onto a plate to cool.
5. Lightly season squash mixture to taste with salt (the blue cheese will add additional saltiness). Remove from heat.
6. Finely chop sage; sprinkle over the squash, reserving some for serving.
7. Remove about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water with a ladle or mug; drain pasta. Add drained pasta to the squash mixture. Gently stir to combine. If sauce is too dry or mixture won't come together, add some of the reserved cooking water; the starch in it encourages the sauce to emulsify and cling to the pasta. Stir in most of the pine nuts and blue cheese. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with remaining sage, pine nuts, and cheese. Makes 6 (1-1/2 cup) servings plus leftovers.
My changes -

1. I could not find gluten free Pappardelle. I did find some wide noodles which were gluten free, but they contained corn starch and eggs so they were a no go. I opted for some gluten free penne. Which seemed strong enough to hold up to the thick hearty sauce.

2. At Whole Foods, I selected a sheep's milk blue cheese, which seemed milder than some of the very sharp cow's milk blue cheeses, but I was just happy to be able to use blue cheese.

3. I am not a huge fan of  Marsala. So I used some white wine. The same for pine nuts, not a huge fan and I am thinking nuts are aggravating my tummy, so I omitted those also.

I found this to be an easy and yummy dish, very hearty. I served it with green beans. H is wanting to try more vegetarian dishes and reduce our consumption of meat. This fit the bill and is very filling. This made enough for two good sized dinner portions and plenty of leftovers.

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