I have to admit that I saw the tail end of a cooking show that was featuring a pasta sauce made from squash puree. I absolutely loved the idea of using vegetables to create a creamy textured sauce that would trick my little girl (and my husband) into eating some really healthy food. I didn’t catch that recipe, but winged my own which is below. It actually looks like macaroni and cheese, and tastes incredible! Feel free to top it with grilled shrimp or chicken and you will have a fresh and well-rounded meal that you can feel good about your kids eating. I served it when we had friends over for dinner, and everyone raved about it.
Butternut Squash Pasta, serves 8
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lbs), peeled, seeded and chopped
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan
In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and the onions and garlic to the pan. Sweat the onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the butternut squash, and toss with the onions and oil to coat the squash. Add the chicken stock, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Cook the squash covered for about 5-8 minutes or until the squash is softened. Remove the lid, and let the squash continue to cook until the squash is very soft and the broth is thickened about another 8 minutes. Let the squash cool slightly, and puree with an emersion blender, or add to the blender and puree until very smooth. (The blender gets it even smoother than the emersion blender). Return it to the pan, whisk in the cream and then season it with salt and pepper. I tossed it with al dente rigatoni, and the tubes really filled with the squash puree, delicious! Place the rigatoni and squash sauce on a large platter and generously sprinkled the top with freshly grated Parmesan and fresh minced chives.