With creamy butternut squash, cozy spices, and sage, you'll swear you ordered this butternut squash pasta sauce at a restaurant. Simple ingredients, rich (vegan) flavor.
What does butternut squash pasta sauce taste like?
Butternut squash pasta sauce is a little sweet and a little savory. The sugars in the squash come out when it's roasted and starts to caramelize, which makes up the base of the sauce. Blend it together with garlic, creamy coconut milk and a few spices and you have recipe deserving of all the fall vibes.
What flavors go well with butternut squash?
Butternut squash pairs well with sweet flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup, but it's also diverse enough of an ingredient to compliment savory flavors like rosemary, sage and garlic.
- Butternut squash: this is the star of the dish and adds so much sweetness and creamy texture when it's roasted and blended.
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic: we're leaving the skin on to roast it whole in the oven with the squash so it gets this mild, sweetflavor.
- Vegan butter: we love a plant-based butter like Miyokos, but you could also use traditional butter if you aren't vegan or dairy free.
- Vegetable broth: this thins out the sauce and makes it possible to blend the squash.
- Full fat coconut milk: you can usually find this in the baking aisle or in the international section near the Indian food. It comes in a can and usually has a thick layer of cream on top.
- Nutmeg: the flavor this brings is ever so subtle, but makes a difference. People won't be able to place exactly what they taste, but it's just the right amount.
- Pasta: a short cut pasta like a penne or rigatoni work well but you could switch it up and do a linguine or even a ravioli would be so good! We like to use a gluten-free pasta made from rice or quinoa.
How to make butternut squash pasta sauce
- Prep the squash: peel the butternut squash, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds then dice into cubes.
- Roast the squash: Spread the squash evenly on a large baking pan then place the cloves of garlic, with the skin on, around the squash. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper and gently toss. Roast 35-40 minutes, or until it's fork-tender.
- Make the pasta:boil your pasta according to the package directions then rinse and set aside.
- Fry the sage and walnuts (optional): Melt the butter or vegan butter in a large saucepan then add the sage and walnuts and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes until the sage crisps and the walnuts toast.
- Blend the sauce: carefully transfer the cooked squash to a heat-safe blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
- Mix and top:Toss the pasta and sauce together and warm over the stove if desired. Top with sage and walnuts before serving.
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Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce with Fried Sage and Walnuts
For the pasta and sauce:
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium (7-8 cups) butternut squash peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic whole and skin on
- 2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter (we like Miyokos)
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 12 ounces short pasta for serving (we like gluten free penne)
- 1 tablespoon butter or vegan butter
- Fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Shaved parmesan cheese optional
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel the butternut squash, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds then dice into cubes.
- Spread the squash evenly on a large baking sheet then place the cloves of garlic, with the skin on, around the squash. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the butternut squash in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until it's fork-tender.
- While it's roasting, boil your pasta according to the package directions in a large pot with salt then rinse and set aside. Additionally, you can fry the sage and walnuts. Melt the butter or vegan butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it's melted and shimmering, add the sage and walnuts and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes until the sage crisps and the walnuts toast. Transfer them to a paper towel to drain.
- When it's done, carefully transfer the squash to a heat-safe blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend on high until it's really smooth and creamy.
- When it's done, add the cooked pasta and sauce to the pan you used to cook the sage and walnuts. Mix them together and cook on medium heat until warmed all the way through. Top with sage and walnuts before serving.