The cool breeze and changing leaves in the northeast have us really experiencing the fall season in full bloom. You might be noticing a change in the foods you are craving, feeling the need for a little more sleep, craving warm drinks, or maybe seeing new foods at the farmers market. Fall is a big transitional time, one that we can see, hear and feel pretty intensely. Our foods change from the luscious greens and vibrant veggies of spring and summer into foods with a more rooted energy, such as squash, root veggies and apples. Being from NY, this time of year is always enjoyable. Watching the leaves change colors, feeling the weather cool off and enjoying the warm sun are all signs that Fall is officially here.
In celebration of the arrival of Fall, I usually begin incorporating more “fall foods” into my diet, both to get my body ready for the season and because I love the taste of foods such as roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash soup.
Last week, while planning for a cooking session with a client, I began to scroll through my thoughts for new, Fall recipes I wanted to try out. Immediately I thought of this creamy butternut squash sauce I had seen in a magazine about a year earlier. As I searched through different recipe ideas, I began to build a recipe of my own…
Before we get into it, one of my favorite things about this sauce is that you can make it into a soup simply by adding vegetable broth. So if you have an abundance of squash surrounding you this Fall (which I think most of us do) you can cook them all up at the same time, make a creamy pasta sauce, and turn the leftovers into a delicious soup that can be stored in your freezer or fridge. Ahh I love the 2 for 1 deal!
For the sauce, you will need:
*Note that this recipe makes about 3-4 cups of sauce, which is usually enough for 1½ pounds of pasta.
1 medium sized butternut squash (about 1 and ½ pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh herbs (such as sage, oregano or thyme)
Sea salt and black pepper
5 cloves garlic, peel on
1 cup creamy cashew milk
1 pound gluten free pasta (such as brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, black bean pasta, etc…)
Optional toppings, such as parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast to keep it a vegan dish), minced fresh herbs, toasted pine nuts, toasted chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Using a sharp knife, trim the ends off the squash and cut crosswise to separate bulb from neck. Remove skin with a veggie peeler or knife. Cut both pieces in half, lengthwise, and remove seeds with a spoon.
Cut squash into 2-inch chunks and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with about 1-tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with herbs, and top with salt and pepper. Toss so the squash is mixed evenly with the toppings.
Scatter garlic cloves around squash. Roast everything until squash is very tender, 30-40 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
Once cooked, remove and discard skin from garlic and transfer squash and garlic cloves to a food processor or blender.
Add cashew milk and begin blending, adding water as needed (usually about 1-2 cups) to reach desired consistency. Once blended, taste to see if more salt is needed, and season appropriately.
Cook pasta according to package. After pasta is cooked, strain and save about 1 cup pasta water.
Return pasta to pot and mix in sauce. Add some of the reserved pasta water if necessary – to thin.
Serve with desired toppings.
To make this sauce into a delicious soup:
Top with toasted pumpkin seeds, freshly ground black pepper, or any of the optional toppings listed above (or none at all!).
with love and delicious seasonal meals,