so fall may be coming to an end, but hard squashes are still abundant at my local grocers (i live on the block between a king soopers and a whole foods). one of my absolute favorite things to do with squash is 1. make it into a hummus 2. pasta sauce. pasta sauce is an easy one to start with and ill break it down for you here.
1 small hard squash (butternut or acorn are my favorites)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt and fresh black pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 cup milk or milk substitute (i like almond or cashew)
pasta (i used homemade fettucini but i like the way it coats a rigatoni or cheese ravioli)
mix ins like caramelized onions and mushrooms or sautéed spinach, figs if in season and toppings like bacon or crispy prosciutto, grated parmesan cheese, walnuts, chopped sage, parsley
1. preheat oven to 400 degrees. cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. then peel off the skin and chop into cubes. put on an baking pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and put in the oven to roast, about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.*
2. let squash cool and transfer to a food processor or immersion blender to puree. halfway through add in garlic, milk, sage, nutmeg, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper while still mixing. puree until smooth. if the mixture is a little thick, you can add some veggie stock or water.
3. cook your pasta. while the pasta is cooking i sometimes like to cook up veggies to integrate like mushrooms and onions, sautéed spinach, or figs if they are in season. when the pasta is done cooking reserve one cup of starchy water and drain the pasta. return to the pot with your mix ins and sauce. add reserved pasta water to help coat as needed.
4. serve with toppings and enjoy!
*in a pinch i will cut in half and remove the seeds and put the squash face down in a pyrex with a little water and microwave for 5 minutes or until squash is tender when you pierce it with a fork. you can then just let it cool and scoop the squash from it's skin and into the food processor/blender.