I feel like there are just some vegetables that I never cook with. In this group we have fennel, leeks, butternut squash, fresh artichokes, bok choy, fiddleheads, and pumpkins. It’s not that I have anything against these vegetables (well, except for fennel which sort of tastes like licorice – the most detestable flavor [to me]), it’s just that growing up my mom never cooked with them so I never think to buy them. Except for last week (and yesterday) when I finally decided I would make my very first purchase of butternut squash. I was making home made pasta from scratch and had found a butternut squash sauce to pair it with that I knew would be delicious [and it was].
This reminds me of a story my friend S told me – she had asked her boyfriend to buy a butternut squash, peel it, slice it in half, scoop out the seeds and bake it at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Well he got confused, accidentally bought a zucchini instead and followed those same directions. If you’ve cooked with both you can imagine there was nothing left to the helpless zucchini after all the insides had been scooped out and it had been roasted for an entire 60 minutes in the scolding heat. Thankfully I didn’t make that mistake when grocery shopping.
I was really impressed with this recipe – it tastes nothing like a pasta sauce I’ve ever tried. The roasted butternut squash and shallots are the main ingredients in the sauce – with some cream added to thin it out. The Gorgonzola and the parsley complemented the sauce well, and by pureeing half the squash and keeping the rest of it in small cubes the dish maintained a variety of textures. I would consider this a perfect pasta dish for vegetarians, even though I can’t imagine any carnivores complaining either.
I will definitely be making this dish again, in fact I’ll be making it later this week….
Recipe adapted from These Peas are Hollow
- 8 oz home made pasta
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4-5 large shallots, peeled and quartered
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4-1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
- handful fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In large bowl combine shallots, butternut squash, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss to make sure everything coated in olive oil.
- On a lightly greased baking sheet spread butternut squash and shallots in a single layer. Roast for 1 hour, turning the butter nut squash over a few times to make sure it cooks evenly.
- Start to cook the pasta at this point (fresh pasta only needs 4-5 minutes). Place half of the butternut squash, all the shallots, and the heavy cream in a food processor. Pulse until mix resembles a smooth sauce.
- In a pan heat butter over medium heat and cook for a few minutes until it is starting to brown. Add the butternut squash sauce to the pan and mix until combined.
- Add the [cooked] pasta to the pan and up to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
- Serve pasta with sauce, topped with butternut squash cubes, crumbled Gorgonzola, and parsley.