I often toss a package of butternut squash into my grocery cart. The bright yellow vegetable is more appealing in cube form than in its thick, green skin. I roast the cubes after rubbing them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. They’re so yummy, I eat the cooked bits like popcorn. What’s left I sprinkle atop salads or put in soups.
While browsing the Internet recently, I came upon a simple recipe for a creamy Butternut Squash Pasta. Yes, I admit, I do enjoy a good pasta from time to time. When I’m in Italy or Sicily, I go native and eat it everyday, but I’m far more restrained at home. Most often I go with a red pasta sauce, but this yellow, low-fat version sounded enticing! I have a butternut squash pasta recipe already, but it calls for using heavy cream. This one promised creaminess without the cream, which would strip away a few calories.
I did a little comparison recipe shopping online and found there are umpteen variations on this recipe. Some throw in a bit of spinach, pancetta or sausage. Noodles range from farfalle to linguine to pappardelle. And the squash can be roasted or sauteed.
The evening I made this dish, I opted to stay with the simple recipe, that I found at Food52, though I took the liberty of adding a few red pepper flakes.
Butternut Squash Pasta
- 8 oz. pappardelle noodles
- 4 Tbs. (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 12 oz. butternut squash (large dice)
- 2/3 cup pecorino, grated, plus more for serving (optional)
- Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, salt & pepper (about ½ teaspoon each) and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (about 15 minutes). Transfer to a plate.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to pot.
- In the same large skillet you cooked the onions, add the butternut squash and 1½ cups water (or broth, if you have it) to the reserved skillet. Cover partially, and cook (stirring occasionally), until mixture is very soft and most of the water has evaporated (about 8-10 minutes).
- Toss the pasta, onion, butternut squash, pecorino, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water together (adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce).