Remember how I told you guys that I love food? I do. If I could eat for a living I’d gladly take on that opportunity (move aside Guy Fieri). Cooking is my escape zone. I love sticking to my Italian roots, but also enjoy stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying new recipes.
A few weeks ago on my Instagram stories I shared what I was making for dinner – butternut squash pasta. My husband isn’t the biggest fan of soups (which is really sad because I LOVE soup), so I was trying to think of a different way to use up the squash. I began looking online for some inspiration and came across a photo of butternut squash pasta sauce. Yum!!
I decided to recreate this dish and pretty much made it up as I went along (which totally makes it difficult for me to share the recipe). For the most part, I measure everything by eye and to taste. I add a little bit of this and a little bit of that until I think the flavour is jusssssst right! You guys – it turned out A-MAZING. My husband devoured a generous serving and then some!
Since it was such a hit, I made it for dinner again a few nights ago. This time I made sure to measure out the ingredients so that I could share this recipe with you!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA
1 butternut squash, cubed
5 garlic cloves, whole with skin on
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Italian Seasoning Blend (OR 1/4 tsp each of rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 pack of Rigatoni Pasta (or any other short pasta of your choice)
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 400°F
Place cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet along with garlic cloves (in their skin). Drizzle with 1 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Italian seasoning blend, garlic powder, smoked paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Toss everything together and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until butternut squash is tender and garlic is soft. Be sure to toss half-way through cooking.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water once it’s come to a boil (salty as the sea) and add pasta. Cook according to package instructions (approx 13 minutes if using rigatoni or until al dente).
In the mean time, transfer butternut squash and garlic to a skillet with high sides. Be sure to remove and dispose of garlic skins (the garlic should be very soft and easy to squeeze out of the skins). Using a potato masher, slowly begin to mash the butternut squash and garlic together while adding a little bit of the starchy pasta water at a time. Add enough water until you’ve reached your desired sauce-like consistency (about 3 cups or so). Should you wish to have a smooth sauce, feel free to use an immersion blender. Keep the skillet on low and and add heavy cream. Stir in the parmigiano reggiano.
Drain pasta and add to the sauce to coat. Top with another generous grating of cheese and voila! Dinner is served!
I hope you all enjoy this recipe. Please let me know how it turned out for you and if you made any changes to make this recipe your own!