butternut squash pasta_
butternut squash pasta_

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

5/5
This nutrient rich, warm, and comforting pasta is excellent for dinner any time of year. Just roast the squash, scoop it into a skillet sizzling with shallots, garlic, and fresh herbs, and blitz with an immersion blender. Thirty-five minutes later? Bliss.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes
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Recipe Rundown

Once the butternut squash is roasted, this creamy pasta comes together in a mere 5 minutes.

butternut squash pasta

So, why butternut squash pasta?

Besides the fact that I had 6 pumpkins on my counter for over a week, I’ve been wanting to capture the flavors and textures of butternut squash ravioli but in a way that’s practical for weeknight dinner.

Roasting coaxes the natural sweet flavor of butternut squash. It’s truly delicious and works well with pantry staples (pasta, chicken/vegetable stock, cream, fresh herbs, and nuts).

And, since I’m not a fan of peeling and chopping butternut squash, there’s none of that, just spoon-tender flesh that’s easy to work with.

roasted butternut squash

One of my long-standing healthy desserts is roasted squash with a pat of butter and pumpkin pie seasoning. It’s pretty intuitive to think of fun ways to enjoy pumpkin via desserts; I once won a contest with a butternut squash cupcake with sage cream cheese frosting…but it’s more rewarding (and challenging) to go savory with it.

So, in pursuit of the savory version of butternut squash, this recipe combines shallot, garlic, sage (or thyme) and some Wisconsin cheese called Romano (a cow’s milk version of Pecorino Romano).

I tasted the sauce before and after adding the cream. Without the cream, it reminded me of butternut squash soup. So, I think just a dash of cream is needed for richness, almost like a fettuccine alfredo.

homemade butternut squash sauce over spaghetti with Romano cheese and fresh herbs

This is a mildly flavored dish that really benefits from the nutty, umami quality of the cheese. So, if you need a dairy-free alternative that still tastes flavorful, I’d highly recommend substituting some shiitake bacon (thinly sliced and roasted shiitake mushrooms).

Which noodles go best with butternut squash sauce?

Spaghetti will mop up the light sauce quite well. For a good gluten-free alternative, use your favorite wheat free pasta or try using spiraled butternut squash, itself, in place of the noodles.

Butternut Squash Noodles Tip: You can find pre-spiralized squash noodles in the refrigerated section of many health oriented grocery stores. Since they are raw, I like to microwave them on high for 1 minute, until steamy, and use in place of regular noodles.

You can diy the butternut squash noodles. A cheap counter-top spiralizer is great for soft vegetables, but I’ve found that a Kitchenaid attachment is easier to work with for firmer vegetables.

Serving Ideas

This butternut squash pasta would be wonderful with a green salad with a champagne vinegar-shallot vinaigrette. I’d also recommend including a variety of vegetables, roasted nuts, or proteins:

  • Roasted and crispy Brussels sprouts or mushrooms
  • White fish, steak, or chicken
  • Roasted and chopped hazelnuts or walnuts
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Red chile flakes
  • Fresh herbs: basil, thyme, sage, or parsley

With some of these ideas, you could include the sides on the same roasting tray as the butternut squash, killing two birds with one stone.

Top Tips for a Flavorful and Creamy Sauce

  • For maximizing the potential of the butternut squash, I recommend seasoning with salt and pepper throughout the cooking process. That way, you only need to make slight adjustments at the end.
  • While I like olive oil, I think butter would be equally (if not more) compelling in this recipe.
  • If adding sage, I suggest stirring it around a bit in the hot pan with the shallots to really bring out its essence.
  • To prevent an overly thick sauce, start by adding only 3/4 of the cooked noodles. While you can thin the sauce by adding pasta water, do this sparingly as it can cause the flavor to be, well, watered down.

Storing Leftovers

If planning for leftovers, it’s a good idea to consider how much the sauce will thicken in the fridge. Store the noodles and sauce separately or consider cooking only 12 oz of noodles so they have plenty of sauce to sit in.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

This nutrient rich, warm, and comforting pasta is excellent for dinner any time of year. Just roast the squash, scoop it into a skillet sizzling with shallots, garlic, and fresh herbs, and blitz with an immersion blender. Thirty-five minutes later? Bliss.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash, gluten free, noodles, pasta, roasted, sauce, spaghetti
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 487kcal
Author: Chef Sara Furcini

Equipment

  • immersion blender or regular blender

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash stem removed, halved lengthwise, and seeded
  • Salt for seasoning
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 2 medium shallots (or 1 large) thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves fresh sage finely minced
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock vegetable stock works, too
  • cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese finely grated, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Place the butternut squash face down on a baking sheet (line with parchment paper for easy clean-up). Roast until tender and somewhat caramelized, about 27 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Remove ½ cup pasta water then strain and set aside. Return the pot to the stove; Over medium heat, warm the olive oil then saute the shallots and garlic until somewhat tender, about 4 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and minced sage; Stir to combine. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh of the roasted squash into the pot; add the chicken stock.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree the squash into a thick sauce. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer just to warm. Add the pasta directly to the warm sauce and thin only if necessary with the pasta water. Toss to coat then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with nutmeg and Romano cheese.

Notes

If your sauce is bland, try adding a lot of finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, taste, then see if it needs more salt or freshly ground pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 725mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 13516IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 2mg

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