No, no, this is not plasticized processed cheese food over pasta! It is a butternut squash sauce and boy is it good. Well, I think it is quite good and I am sure picky kids would find it quite tasty. The picky manthing's, well you can't please everyone all the time :) When I made this the other night and served him his plate, his eyes went dim and out of his darlin' pie hole came the opening words of this post. I looked at him n said, "why yes dear, I jogged all the way to town today just to get you some plasticized, processed cheese food for dinner because I know how much you like it." Truth be told, he is not a pasta fan to begin with and he only tolerates squash because he has no choice in the matter. Anyway, this is a very simple, quick, and cheap dinner that is also nice and healthy. And thankfully, it tastes better than it looks.
When I make this I puree the squash after roasting or use already pureed squash that I have frozen. You can however, dice the squash, roast and serve with bits of squash if you prefer. Most any winter squash or pumpkin can replace the butternut in the recipe, so don't be scared of changing it up. Most folks like to use bow ties or penne for the pasta, I use whatever I have on hand, why pay more for fancy shapes when it all tastes the same. In the recipe you will notice I have included choices for the liquid, the choice is yours as to what is used. For creamier sauce, use cream or milk for a cheaper, less fattening sauce use veg. stock or water.
1 butternut squash weighing about 2 1/2 pounds
8 ounces of pasta
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1/3 cup of chopped shallots or green onion
1/2-1 cup of heavy cream /milk/water/ or chicken stock
1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage
1/2 cup pine nuts or 1/2 cup parmesan cheese or 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Cook the pasta to au dente, drain, and set aside. Roast the squash, scoop out and puree. In frying pan, place butter and shallots and cook till translucent, add remaining ingredients and toss with pasta. The amount of liquid added will vary depending on how thin or thick you want the sauce. Add nuts, cheese or bread crumbs to top and serve.
Served with a side salad this really does make a nice meatless meal, don't let the picture fool you. There are several other variations of this recipe out there. If you are not a fan of this one, search butternut pasta recipes and an entire library of recipes will show up. Give them a try, they are a nice change from traditional sauces.