2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (vegan butter is fine as well)
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken/ vegetarian broth
1/3 cup milk (nut milk is fine as well)
1/3 cup Italian cheese blend (Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano) salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces whole grain pasta of your choice

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the squash, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is soft and the liquid is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions, stirring occasionally. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining. Once the squash mixture is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender, purée the mixture until smooth (beware of hot steam escaping from the top of the blender), then season with salt and pepper until the flavors sing. In the reserved skillet, combine the pasta, squash purée and ¼ cup cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking water as needed, until the sauce coats the pasta, about 2 minutes. Serve the pasta in individual bowls topped with black pepper and shaved Parmesan/Pecorino if desired.


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