Here comes how I used the other half of that butternut squash I mentioned in this post.
This recipe came to me with a bit of inspiration- a friend had eaten a butternut squash ravioli out at dinner recently and it looked delicious, and it had a brown butter sage sauce that smelled heavenly.
Now I’m good, but I’m nobody’s Nonna and I wasn’t feeling experimenting with creating ravioli. I wanted to get that deliciousness in, but in a not-so-fussy kind of way. For the hangry amongst us.
So, as I like to do when I’m trying out purely experimental things and need to get an unbiased opinion, I invited my good friend Connor over for dinner. The guy is not afraid to tell me when I’m being a major jerk, so I feel pretty confident that he’ll tell me if my food tasted bad. As a result, he is often my de facto taste tester. He always brings wine for us to sip on and a good spirit about him when I take forever to make a worknight meal (thanks buddy!). This dish turned out to be very flavorful, and creamy without any cream involved.
So without further ado, the second installment featuring my favo little squash- the butternut squash.
Butternut Sage Spaghettini with Bacon
Serves 4 for $3.48 ($0.87 per person)
1/3 of a butternut squash ($1.33)
Thyme Leaves (approximately 2 sprigs) ($0.19)
5 sage leaves($0.35)
Two slices of Bacon, pre crisped as bacon bits ($1.06)
Cracked black pepper and salt to taste
400g of dry spaghettini ($0.55)
Red Chili Flakes
Parmesan to garnish (optional)
Step One: Roast your butternut squash
I did this in a shallow baking dish with some olive oil, thyme, pepper and salt. I cut my squash quite large out of laziness as I’m sure you can see, but cutting it smaller will speed the process. I set the oven for 350 degrees and left the dish in there until the squash felt soft. Difficult, eh? It took about 35 minutes. I then cooled the squash and popped it in a bag to store overnight since I did this the day before I wanted to eat my pasta.
Step Two: Cook Your Pasta!
Put that pot on the stove, salt, add your pasta. I use spaghettini because it’s what I like, but use whatever noodle your heart desires. It may seem weird to start the pasta before the sauce is started, but it comes together super quickly.
At this point, toss your bacon bits on a plate with some paper towel underneath them to crisp and warm them as well.
Step Three: Make that Sauce
Blenderize your sauce. To do this I put my squash in a pot with a bit of pasta water to give it a more liquidy consistency and heat it up. You could use chicken or vegetable stock if you had some around, just make sure you can cover the blades of an immersion blender. You want to add in your sage leaves and hot pepper flakes at this point as well so that they get blenderized as well.
I can’t stress enough that you only need a bit of liquid (and that’s why it doesn’t particularly matter what kind you use). You want to have a thick sauce that will adhere to the noodles. Taste your sauce- if it is flat tasting, add some balsamic vinegar or a tiny splash of lemon juice. Make sure it has a good salt and pepper base, because there’s not a lot in this sauce to hide poor seasoning.
Step Four: Assemble
Once your sauce is blenderized and nice and hot, keep it on the burner (stirring occasionally) until your pasta is ready. Drain your pasta when it’s cooked, keeping the noodles in your pasta pot. With a rubber spatula, take your sauce and dump it into the pasta pot. Stir your pasta until it’s well coated and then dish onto a plate a good helping of pasta. Garnish with your bacon bits and parmesan (if desired). Enjoy!
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