Roasted Butternut Squash Penne

It’s Remeberance Day today in Canada or Veterans Day in the US of A and my thoughts are with veterans everywhere, both alive and ones that have passed away. This is a huge day for military families, and in my mind, an even bigger day to reflect on peace, hope and prosperity. It’s a time we should not only be remembering the contribution these men and women gave for our freedom but also how they changed the world. Lest we forget.

I’ve been doing a lot of somber posts lately and I swear that is not intentional. I would rather this one remain as positive as possible but I didn’t feel great about posting today without mentioning Remembrance day and personal reflection. With this mood in mind I figured today had to be full of comfort food. I woke up, put chocolate almond milk in my coffee, ate eggs with avocado and dreamt of pasta in the afternoon, which got me to thinking. 

Have you ever had butternut squash stuffed ravioli? It’s damn good. Well that was my inspiration for this creamy and cheesy vegan sauce. This sauce kills your cravings for that flavours without having to make your own raviolis. You can simply make it and toss with your favourite pasta with a bit of pasta water to create a fall inspired pasta dish. Top with toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds and more nutritional yeast or fried sage. Delicious!

Roasted Butternut Squash Sauce for Pasta

roasted squash, onions and garlic

  • 1 small butternut squash, about 5 cups cubed
  • 2 small onions, cubed into 1+1/2 cups
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • parchment paper

to finish the sauce

  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 3/4  cup of plain almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of rosemary ground between your fingers
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

to make the pasta dish you will also need

  • 6 servings of cooked penne with 1 cup of pasta water reserved
  • green onion, nutritional yeast, fried sage leaves, pumpkin/sunflower seeds or toasted pine nuts, olive oil, freshly ground  pepper to garnish

Method 

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, peel and cut into 1-2 inch cubes.

Do the same with the onion and peel and trim the garlic. Toss all the the veggies in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 20 -30 minutes turning once. The onions and squash should be browned on at least one side and be very soft when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Once the vegetables are cool enough to handle, place them in a medium sized saucepan and add to it the oil, milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, rosemary, smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper. Once blended the sauce should be as thick as hummus. Don’t worry about it being too thick you will add hot pasta water to thin it to your liking later.

Set sauce and cook 6 servings of penne pasta according to the package directions. You could also use rigatoni, or shells, anything that will hold a thick sauce. Before draining the pasta reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.

Add a few tablespoons of pasta water, the entire thing of sauce and all the pasta to a large pasta pot.  Place the pot over medium low heat and stir until all the pasta has been very well coated in sauce. Thin the sauce according to your taste with the remaining pasta water and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with any of the following suggestions, I choose some green onion, salted and roasted sunflower seeds, a teaspoon of nutritional yeast and 1 tsp of olive oil. Enjoy a delicious hearty meal.

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2 thoughts on “Roasted Butternut Squash Penne

  1. I made this last week! Slightly tweaked the recipe by eliminating nutritional yeast and adding a dash of tomato & some feta cheese. It was AMAZING! I think I cooked the squash wrong though because it came out more textured than I anticipated ( I’ve usually worked with Acorn Or Buttercup squash [I think] and it practically dissolves/mashes on it’s own).However, EVEN the boyfriend ate 2 HUGE servings, and he suffers from “this is weird looking and who cooks with squash anyway, I’m probably not going to like it….” -syndrome! Thanks!
    🙂

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