As the weather cools down and Halloween passes us, I find it important to appreciate the fleeting season of fall any chance I have. I want to drink pumpkin spice, go apple picking and most importantly, cook with fresh autumnal ingredients. Even though Thanksgiving, in all its culinary glory, is fast approaching, I want to celebrate the season and take advantage of the vegetables it has to offer. The first one that came to mind was butternut squash, which is such a versatile vegetable that is only in its best season in late summer and fall.
Why wait for Thanksgiving to have a good home-cooked meal that incorporates your favorite fall elements? Butternut squash is an amazing vegetable that needs more appreciation. It is so often left out of Thanksgiving meals in favor of the more famous gourd: pumpkin. Though I love pumpkin, it is the butternut squash that deservedly dazzles in this sauce.
I quickly got to work on deciding the best ingredients for the pasta and ran to the grocery store to grab the ingredients. This recipe is so simple: there is no dicing or stirring for extended periods. In fact, the blender does most of the hard work. I wanted something that I could make with my friends while having a fun night in — something that would match the vibe if we were feeling the cooler weather and having a cozy night in with a slice of pie.
Butternut Squash Pasta
Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
- 1 onion
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1/2 can of pumpkin purée
- 1 bag of pasta (the Trader Joe’s striped farfalline is a perfect option with its autumnal colors)
- First, preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Then prepare the vegetables. Peel the garlic and cut the butternut squash into squares.
- Continue preparing the other vegetables by cutting the onion, bell peppers and tomatoes into large pieces.
- Put all of the cut vegetables on a baking tray and drizzle them with olive oil.
- After the olive oil, strip the leaves from the rosemary sprig, then sprinkle salt, pepper and rosemary all over the tray. Add rosemary depending on your tastes — if you like a dish with a strong rosemary flavor, then add more, and vice versa.
- Place the tray of vegetables in the oven and let it cook for 25 minutes.
- Take the cooked vegetables, let them cool and place them into the blender with pumpkin purée and blend for around 30 seconds.
- Boil and salt the water and cook the pasta for the amount of time given on the package.
- When the pasta is cooked, add the sauce, fill your bowl and eat up!
This recipe is a great way to eat vegetables and can easily be altered to be gluten-free with chickpea pasta. If you want to add protein to this dish, I added spicy chicken sausage one night when I ate it and it was a delicious combination. To really get in the fall spirit, pair the pasta with some apple cider, chai cookies and “Gilmore Girls”, and it’s the perfect cozy fall night!
A version of this article appeared on p. 12 of the November 2, 2023 version of the Daily Nexus.