Do you ever tire of the same old red pasta sauce? I do. I love pasta, in fact when we go out I almost always order a pasta dish. I always have, ask my mom. I do tend to lean towards alfredos or wine sauces and every once in a while a red sauce. I make my own pasta sauce here at home, which is a money saver and better for you. Last year I was wanting a healthier pasta sauce. Alfredos are full of fat and calories and wine sauces usually have a lot of butter, which means fat so I went in search. I had just returned from a trip home, to St. Croix, where I ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Tutto Bene. I ordered their goat cheese and butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter sauce. It was amazing. Alex and I loved it so much. (Alex being my sister and we both ordered the same thing, I know silly since we should have ordered different things and then split them, but we didn't think obviously.) The point was I got back to Boise and though I need a new pasta sauce. It was winter and I really wanted something different. I made all of London's food when she was a baby so I used to puree a lot of squash. I wondered if there was a recipe out there for a squash pasta sauce. I googled and came across this great blog that had a good recipe for butternut squash pasta sauce. http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2008/05/butternut-squash-pasta-sauce-2.html If you are interested you can go there. I of course changed it up a bit, because that is what I do. So if you want to see the original inspiration visit that site, look around and check out her other recipes. They are great and healthy. Here is my version:
1 Butternut squash, I choose a smaller one usually but sometimes I can the leftover sauce to put in the pantry for another nights use.
white wine, I also think a splash of rum would taste good
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375
Slice your butternut squash into half and scoop out the seeds. (I like to roast my squash for I feel it adds more depth to the flavor. It takes more time though.)
Add a bit of butter to the hollow part and place in a baking sheet. I place a little water on the sheet to help with the steam during roasting.
When almost done I sprinkle some brown sugar on the squash.
Let bake for about anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. Check on it and test with a fork until done.
Once the squash is all done heat some olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add onion and garlic. Saute until tender. Then scoop out the squash, make sure to get the butter and sugar, and add to the sauce pan. Add basil, sage and some broth and the white wine/rum if desired. Let simmer for a bit, only to let the flavors infuse. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Your options now are to smash with a potato masher for a chunkier sauce or run through a food processor. I puree mine.
Serve over pasta, I like a to use a ziti or pene pasta but bow tie or any other smaller pasta would work great.
If your child is picky you could always put some of the roasted squash to the side and make a macaroni and cheese. Then puree the squash by itself and hide it in the mac n cheese. The color will match and it will make it creamier and thicker.
Of course I suggest that you let your child try the butternut squash pasta sauce how it's meant to be and see if they like it. I am not for hiding things in dishes but if you child is an established picky eater and you are worried about them getting their nutrients then hide it.
Hope you enjoy this. If you like butternut squash it is good.