It makes me gleefully giddy to open the fridge and find a fresh, healthy pasta sauce just waiting to be tossed with some penne or fettuccine and some fresh veggies. This creamy (but cream-less) vegetarian, even vegan, sauce is made of roasted butternut squash and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Now, there is nothing wrong with eggs or pancakes for dinner, especially on a night when we’re wearing a path in the road, driving between soccer practice and kung-fu class. However, it makes me feel rather Martha-like knowing that I have a jar of homemade pasta sauce in the fridge.
The butternut squash is simply roasted with olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper. If you want to make the process even easier, pick up some pre-peeled and cut butternut squash from Costco or your local grocery store.
As you can see from the picture, I made the sauce rather thick. If you would prefer a thinner sauce, simply add a little more vegetable broth to the mix, either while processing it in the blender or after the sauce chills in the fridge (if you choose to do so). A splash of balsamic vinegar cuts the sweetness of the butternut squash and adds a depth of flavor to the sauce.
When you’re ready to use the sauce, simply warm it in a saucepan set over medium-low heat.
One of my favorite pairings with butternut squash (a classic one…I can’t take credit for this one) is toasted hazelnuts and chopped, fresh sage. Add some chicken, or perhaps some chickpeas or cannellini beans, to round out the meal.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a large baking sheet, toss the butternut squash cubes with the olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Bake until the butternut squash is tender and just starting to brown in places.
Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes.
Transfer the squash to a food processor or heavy-duty blender, and add the vegetable broth. Puree until smooth.
Add the balsamic vinegar and pulse to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve as a pasta sauce, or as a sauce for chicken, pork or fish.
Other butternut squash recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa
Cookin’ Canuck’s Baked Tortellini with Turkey, Butternut Squash & Chard
Smitten Kitchen’s Warm Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad
Two Peas and Their Pod’s Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Poor Girls Eats Well’s Herbed Quinoa Risotto with Butternut Squash & Sweet Peas
- 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp (or more) vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- On a large baking sheet, toss the butternut squash cubes with the olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Bake until the butternut squash is tender and just starting to brown in places.
- Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the squash to a food processor or heavy-duty blender, and add the vegetable broth. Puree until smooth.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and pulse to combine.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.