A creamy rich and decadent butternut sauce, perfectly balanced between sweet and savory and sprinkled with a little parmesan cheese. You simply cannot go without making this dish at least once this fall season!
It’s officially Fall now, and so I have full and free license to start eating comfort foods by the pound and pretend that I am a bear preparing for hibernation. Yeah, that was a dream….
Although my cravings for warm, rich, heavy foods may increase as the temperatures decline, I’ve still got to keep my senses about me and remember my ever slowing metabolism ain’t going to be saving my ass too much longer. And with this aforementioned depressing fact, came my idea for this recipe for “Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash and Walnut Spaghetti” So rich, so creamy, and yet comprising almost entirely of a nutritious root vegetable!
If you are a frequent flyer here on Salt Sugar Spice you know that I’m a big fan of using pureed vegetables in recipes!
It’s just a fool proof way of ensuring that you will come that much closer to meeting the daily recommended vegetable serving a day. And as I’m sure you are well aware that this can be quite the daunting task when feeding people of a smaller persuasion- ie- your kids!
The butternut squash puree is and rich and creamy, it almost reminds me of an Alfredo sauce- which I haven’t eaten in years, not for a lack of desire, but due to the ramifications it would have on my waistline (sigh). So it’s very exciting to find a recipe that reminds me of something sinful, but without all the extra grams of fat and calories!
And as a woman who loves her some salt, sometimes I can get a little “butternutted” out. Probably the same reason why I’m not the biggest fan of sweet potatoes. I can honestly say that because of the addition of the toasted walnuts and roasted shallot and garlic incorporated in the puree, the sweetness of the squash is skillfully neutralized by the aromatics leaving a pasta sauce that still satisfies that craving for something savory.
Be sure to remember to reserve at least a cup of the starchy pasta water before draining in a colander. I only ended up using a half of a cup to thin the sauce out after I incorporated the pasta. This gave us a pretty thick and hearty sauce, but if you wanted it to be a little thinner, just gradually add the water till you feel like the consistency is right for you.
Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash and Walnut Spaghetti
- 1 butternut squash whole or cubed
- 1 shallot
- 3 clove garlic
- ½ cup walnuts toasted
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 cup water
- ¾ lb tagliatelle or pasta of choice
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ½ cup reserved pasta water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place walnuts on baking sheet and roast for about 5 minutes, until just fragrent
- Remove top and bottom of butternut squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and stringy bits and discard. Place skin side down on baking sheet with quartered shallot, and 3 smashed cloves of garlic. Drizzle with about 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast in oven for 40-50 minutes, until flesh is easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove baking sheet from oven and let cool about 10 minutes before scraping the cooked squash out of the skin.
- When cool enough to handle, scrape squash away from outer shell and into a food processor. Add the roasted garlic and shallot and walnuts. Cover and puree, gradually adding about 1 cup of water through the top to smooth consistency.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Just before draining, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
- Add pureed squash mixture and milk to large saucepan (large enough to add cooked pasta to eventually) and keep warm over low heat, stirring often. Stir in the parmesan cheese. And then add pasta to the warm sauce.
- Consider the consistency, and add the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce. Amount of water will depend on your preference, but you will probably need at least a half cup.
- Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper
- Divide the pasta among plates and top with additional parmesan, salt and pepper if desired. Eat and enjoy!