A butternut squash pasta made with roasted hazelnut and sautéed garlic and sage. Topped with plant-based parmesan for the perfect fall meal. So creamy no one will believe it’s vegan.
It’s pasta time!
Garlic and Sage Butternut Squash Pasta, to be exact!
After sharing the recipe for my Pumpkin and Cashew Ricotta Stuffed Shells a few weeks ago, I’ve wanted nothing other than pasta, squash, and creamy plant-based cheeses for dinner. And since I’ll be overloading you with vegan pumpkin recipes, I decided to turn to my other favorite autumnal squash – the butternut.
And so this pasta is simply a dream come true. Creamy butternut squash sauce seasoned with sage and garlic, served over Orecchiette pasta, and topped with toasted hazelnuts and vegan parmesan.
Cooking with Butternut Squash
Cooking with butternut squash used to intimidate me. I mean, that squash can feels so inaccessible behind that thick skin. But a couple years ago, when I started making my butternut squash lasagna recipe I learned that the squash was worth the effort.
Preparing butternut squash
- To prepare a butternut squash, first you want to make sure you have a very sharp knife. This is the one I use. A sharp knife keeps your fingers safe when cutting.
- To cut the squash, start by cutting it in half lengthwise. Next, cut each half down the middle widthwise so that your butternut squash is now quartered. To cut off the thick skin, set each quartered piece on it’s flattest side. Slowly cut in a downward motion, removing about 1/8th” off so that all the skin is removed.
- Scoop out the fleshy middle and cut the squash into 1″ cubes.
Cooking butternut squash
Butternut squash is then cooked like potatoes. The pieces are placed in a large pot of boiling water and boil for about 12 minutes until they are easily pierced with a fork.
Strain the cooked squash through a colander and set aside to cool.
Preparing the Pasta Sauce
While the butternut squash cooks, prepare the rest of the sauce by sautéing onions, garlic, and fresh sage in a small skillet with vegan butter. Once the garlic and onions are fragrant, you can remove them from heat and place them in a blender along with vegetable broth, spices, and cooled butternut squash.
Blend until completely smooth and then return to a sauce pan to gently reheat.
Putting the pasta together
Once the squash is cooked and strained, the same pot can be used to cook your pasta. I use Orecchiette pasta, which translates to “little ear” btw, because, well, I like the way it looks. However any pasta for this recipe will do. Chef’s choice!
Once the pasta is cooked, it gets strained and mixed together with your creamy butternut squash sauce.
That’s it. So easy!
Serving the Butternut Squash Pasta
This pasta should be served immediately. I like to serve mine with toasted hazelnuts, fresh sage, and vegan parmesan. You can make your own parmesan following these instructions but if you live in a place where you can find Violife, I highly recommend looking for it. I first had Violife when I was in England this past summer and it has since become my FAVORITE vegan parmesan.
(I rarely make my own anymore!)
Storing the Butternut Squash Pasta
This pasta is best eaten the same day. However, the sauce on it’s own can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer. When you are ready to eat it, gently reheat it (or thaw it overnight if it’s been in the freezer) and toss it with fresh pasta for a second easy weeknight meal.
This butternut squash pasta is a highly versatile and easily adaptable. A few variations:
- This sauce could be made with pumpkin or a variety of other squashes.
- You don’t have to go with Orecchiette pasta. Use the pasta of your choice or try homemade pasta.
- I love hazelnuts but they could easily be omitted or swapped for pecans, walnuts, or pistachios for an equally delicious recipe!
- If you don’t have fresh sage, dried sage will work in a pinch, in which case you would want to use about 2 teaspoons.
Depending on the size of your squash, you may end up with extra sauce. It stores well and makes a delicious pasta dish a second time around.
Sound good? Let’s get cooking!
A butternut squash pasta made with roasted hazelnut and sautéed garlic and sage for the perfect fall meal. So creamy no one will believe it's vegan.
- 12 ounces Orecchiette or pasta shells
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp vegan butter, I use Earth Balance
- 2 tbsp fresh sage, minced
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
- 6 leaves fresh sage
- vegan parmesan, store bought or homemade
Bring a large pot of at least 2 quarts of water to boil. Cut the butternut squash down the middle lengthwise. Scoop out the fleshy middle and cut the squash again, this time widthwise, so that your squash is now quartered. Using a sharp knife, cut away the thick skin. Chop into 1/2" cubes.
Boil cubed butternut squash for 10 minutes, until a fork easily pierces through the squash. Strain the squash through a colander and set aside to cool.
Add another 2 quarts to the pot and return to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, add the butter to a small skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add chopped onion, garlic, and sage and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
In a blender, combine butternut squash, sautéed onions, garlic, and sage, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. Return to heat, if necessary.
When the pasta is ready, strain it through a colander. Toss with prepared butternut squash sauce. Stir in hazelnuts.
Serve immediately with fresh sage and vegan parmesan.