Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
Ok. This had me licking the blender. As in, I pressed the blender up against my face to lick as much of the sauce off the sides as I could. I’m thankful the kids were all preoccupied at the time…I would have undoubtedly heard kid-versions of “hypocrite” and “double standards” if they had.
To the adults in our family (including a visiting friend), Edible Perspective’s Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce is drinkable. To the kids, they liked it. I didn’t catch anyone licking their bowls, but I think I would get smiles if I told them I was making it again.
see notes for additional instructions on roasting the squash and red pepper
- 2 1/2 cups roasted + cubed butternut squash [see notes below]
- 1 roasted + peeled red pepper
- 1 canned peeled tomato [just one]
- 1/2-3/4 cup low/no sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup diced onion
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4-3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne [optional]
- Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Once hot add the onion and celery and cook until softened and light golden brown. Stir frequently. About 6-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir for 20-30 seconds then add in the 2 1/2 cups of roasted butternut squash and chopped roasted pepper and cook for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.
- Place contents of the pan in a blender along with 1/2 cup vegetable stock, the milk, one canned peeled tomato, parsley, lemon juice, oregano, black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cayenne if using.
- Blend starting on low and working to high until smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. I used 1/2 teaspoon salt in total.
- Return to the pot and add the remaining 1/4 cup vegetable stock over medium-low heat. Add more stock for a thinner sauce.
- Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat.
- Serve as a sauce with pasta, vegetables, lasagna, pizza, etc.
- Let cool and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To roast your butternut squash: Preheat your oven to 400*. Peel and cube in 1/4-1/2” pieces and toss with about 1 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with salt + pepper. Roast for about 35min until tender. Toss 1-2 times while cooking. Measure 2 1/2 cups.
- To roast your red pepper: Roast your red pepper on a pan under your broiler, on top of your gas range over medium heat, or in your grill over med-high heat. Rotate 4 times until all sides are charred. Place the pepper in a heat safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes carefully peel the skin off your pepper [it will be hot!]. It’s okay if all of the char does not come off. Remove the stem, seeds, and juice, then chop.
- For the vegetables: Chop broccoli, mushrooms, and bell pepper. Have 3-4 cups of baby spinach on hand. Heat a large pan over medium with a drizzle of oil. Once hot add the broccoli to the pan and season with salt + pepper. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently then add the pepper. Cook for another 4-5 minutes then add the mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until everything is cooked to your liking. Add in the spinach stirring constantly until the spinach is just wilted. Add to pasta and sauce.
- Feel free to sub roasted sweet potato for butternut squash. Also sub 2% milk or unsweetened soy milk instead of almond if needed.
I rarely measure onions and celery. I’m an eyeball-it kind of gal because if I don’t have to dirty another dish, I won’t. I didn’t have canned whole tomatoes, so I pulled out a few tablespoons of canned diced ones. The roasting of the red pepper didn’t take as much time as I thought it would–relatively easy. To loosen the skin, though, I just wrapped the charred pepper in aluminum foil rather than putting it in a bowl and covering it with plastic wrap. I didn’t want to dirty another dish. The pepper was worth the extra step though! The charred, sweet flavor came through beautifully and helped give the sauce the complexity that made it so memorable. I did not do the additional vegetable sauté (those ingredients are included separately anyway). We just did pasta, sauce, salad. It was the end of the week, so produce was limited.
Important butternut squash roasting tip: I didn’t follow her instructions for roasting the butternut squash, because I hate peeling and cutting butternut squash. I prefer to stick the whole thing in the oven. I’m serious. I stick it in the oven on a cookie sheet, turn the oven to 425F, and wait 90 minutes or so depending on the size. When it’s ready, the skin pulls off easily. Since I make my sauce in a Vitamix, I don’t even have to scoop the seeds out. It makes me sing Hallelujah in my head every time.