This easy to follow pasta dish with creamy butternut squash sauce is a good go-to recipe for cold winter days. Squash or pumpkin become very tender and are the perfect ingredient for saucy occasions.
Sage as the main is a wonderful herb that puts a bright highlight on top the low and warm tones from the pumpkin. If you can find it fresh, go for fresh!
Start off by chopping everything choppable. Fry the squash and onion together in a pot, so that a decent layer of roast can build up. Later, when adding stock, these aromas will become part of the sauce.
The magic lies in the texture
Combining pasta al-dente with the creamy butternut squash sauce and crispy and chewy mushrooms make this dish complete. You should focus on creating the right texture while preparing your food, as this dish is quite mild in aromatics.
Crispy mushrooms: make sure you don’t pile your mushrooms while frying. They lose a lot of water, and you don’t want them to swim in their own juice. Both the size of the cuts and the distribution in the pan have an influence on the roasting results. Rather go bigger, in both the pan and the pieces you cut.
Creamy butternut squash: Make sure to heat up the pumpkin long enough so that your blender has no problems turning even the smallest bits into a saucy experience.
Pasta al-dente: Make sure to boil enough water for your pasta. Otherwise, they might turn sticky if they can’t properly release their excess starch to the water.
alternative ways to create the creamy butternut squash sauce
The squeeze of lime is only there for a bit of acidity. If you like it better, replace the lemon and parts of the stock with white wine. The acidity of the wine and its mild and bright aromas go along very well with the rest of the dish. You can go for 150ml stock and 100ml wine to get started. Vary the ratio depending on your preferences and the type of white wine you use.
Pasta with creamy butternut squash sauce and mushrooms
- Hand Blender or similar
- 300 g butternut squash
- 0.5 red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp sage
- 250 ml Vegetable stock
- 0.5 lemon juiced
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 100 g oyster mushrooms
- 0.5 red onion
- 1 dash soy sauce
- 400 g whole grain spaghetti
- 4 tsp nutritional yeast noosh
- 2 tbsp sunflower seed oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
Preparing the sauce
- Cut the squash and half of the onion in small pieces. Give them into a pot with some oil and heat it to medium high heat. Add salt, pepper, sage and garlic and stir frequently until a decent amount of roast starts to show up.
- Pour the vegetable stock (and the optional white wine) into the pot, let it simmer for at least 5 minutes with the lid on. The goal is to dissolve the sticky roast parts from the pot and integrate their flavours.
- Turn off the heat and add the coconut milk. With a hand blender process the food until it's a smooth creamy sauce. Last, add a gentle squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Frying the mushrooms
- Cut the oyster mushrooms into big stripes, in the direction of the gills. Also, chop the other half of the onion into fine bits.
- Grab a pan big enough to properly fry mushrooms. The idea is that every piece has room to fry alone without risking to drown in its own juices. If done correctly, a decent crust full of roast aromas will be the reward. So heat up the pan properly to medium high heat, add oil and start frying the mushrooms and the onions together.
- When there is good roast coming up and you can see the mushrooms build brown and crispy edges, it's time to deglaze with a bit of soy sauce.Keep on frying until all liquid is gone. Remove the mushrooms from the hot pan
- Boil the pasta.
- I suggest to toss both pasta and sauce in one pot and distribute the sauce thoroughly.
- The rest is plating. Pasta first, then mushrooms and then finally add as much noosh (nutritional yeast) as you like.