Smokey Butternut Squash Pasta
With a couple of modifications, this pasta sauce lends itself well to a plant-based diet or a meatless Monday meal, and it’s also a tasty side dish to poultry or pork.
If you have time, it’s worth roasting this in the oven to get the full natural sweetness from both the squash and the onions, but in a pinch, I’ve been known to make this in the Instant Pot, adding a teaspoon of sugar or honey to sweeten.
- 1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeds removed and chopped into 2-3 cm cubes
- 454 g Pasta, your choice
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ⅓ Cup, Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated (Plus some to serve)
- ¼ Cup Spanish Onions or Shallots, chopped finely
- ¼ Cup Sour Cream
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Sage, chopped finely
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Honey * optional
- Black Pepper, to taste
- ½ Cup Water to thin the sauce, more as needed
- ¼ Cup of Walnuts, toasted and chopped into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 and toss the squash and olive oil together with a bit of salt and 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika.
- Set the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven to cool before blending if using a standup blender.
- Saute on medium-high heat onions until they start to brown slightly. Remove from heat to cool.
- In a bowl or blender, combine the sour cream with parmesan cheese, honey, remaining smoked paprika and sage. Add the squash and onions and blend adding water as needed.
- Cook the pasta according to instructions, and gently warm the squash sauce, but avoid bringing to a boil, overheating or burning the bottom.
- Drain the pasta and add the sauce. Season with pepper and salt, if needed and serve with a dusting of parmesan and toasted walnuts.
If making in the Instant Pot, set it to 8 minutes /manual – 5-minute natural release.
For a vegan option replace parmesan with nutritional yeast, sour cream with cashew cream, and honey with agave or sugar.