Finding a delicious pasta sauce recipe that isn’t dominated by tomatoes is no easy task. Thankfully, after a bit of trial and error, we’ve come up with a tasty nutritious recipe for Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Sauce.
In our house, we usually make a lot of roasted vegetables at the beginning of the week, which typically equates to a lot of leftovers at the end of the week. This recipe was born out of the need to use up leftover butternut squash and sweet potatoes. If you already have them roasted in your refrigerator, this recipe is fairly easy to make. We hope you enjoy it.
3 tbs. olive oil
2 medium red onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 -3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
1 c. water
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. Tamarind or 1 tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups roasted butternut squash
2 cups roasted and peeled and chopped sweet potato
1/2 c – 1 c milk or coconut milk
1-2 c pasta water
1/2 a bag or 7-8 oz of rigatoni (you can also use gluten-free pasta)
Fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
Sunflower seeds (optional)
Heat olive oil in medium-large pan and then add the chopped onions. Sautee over medium heat, stirring often to prevent browning, and cook until the oil is mostly gone- about 2-3 minutes. Adjust the heat so the onions don’t brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Add about 1/2 – 1 cup water to the onions. Boil the water off until it’s almost evaporated. The goal is to soften the onions and get the translucent without browning them. Add garlic, spices, tamarind (we use Tamarind) or tomato paste. Cook and stir for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
In a separate bowl, add the butternut squash and sweet potato. If cold, warm the squashed in the microwave. Using a handheld potato masher, mash the squashes together. You could use a food processor but we like the sauce chunky and the masher provides that effect. Slowly add in the milk, stirring with a spoon, until the texture is somewhere between mashed potatoes and sauce. Add the onion mixture to the squash mixture and sir together. Set aside.
Boil the pasta. (We used and recommend the Rusticella Farro Rigatoni because it holds the sauce well.) Just before the pasta is done, scoop out 2 cups of pasta water. Gradually add the hot pasta water to the squash onion mixture until it resembles a thick sauce. You many or may not need all of the water.
Once the pasta is al dente, strain it to remove the water. Mix the pasta and sauce together, working to ensure a good pasta and sauce ratio.
Top with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. You can also sprinkle with sunflower seeds for added texture.
We hope you enjoy pasta with Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Sauce. It should pair well with Red Cabbage, Radicchio, and Endive Salad.