A few years ago when I returned from studying abroad in Rome, I went through Italian pasta withdrawals. To fill the void, with the help of my late Italian grandfather’s 1970’s pasta maker, I taught myself how to make pasta from scratch. I’d come home after a morning class, think of an idea for a ravioli filling, run to the grocery store, and after a day in my tiny apartment kitchen I’d have homemade ravioli for dinner. My favorite filling to make was this roasted butternut squash mixture with a brown butter sage sauce on top. Now that I’m out of college and working, I don’t have a part time class schedule that allows for hours of making pasta from scratch on any given day of the week. I do, however, still have cravings for the same tasty autumn flavors. This roasted butternut squash pasta recipe has all the same flavor profiles without the extra labor. The savory and crispy sage sauce perfectly compliments the roasted sweet squash flavor in this dish. I’d recommend topping this pasta with pancetta or bacon bits to pull it all together.
Roasted butternut squash mixture
Butternut squash (about 1 1/2 -2 lbs, you can also get pre-cubed butternut squash at the grocery store)
1lb Pasta (I used Rigatoni, you could use any short pasta or a cheese filled tortellini)
Herbs de Provence
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Medium Yellow onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
Brown butter sage sauce
1 clove garlic, diced
8 sage leaves, chopped/torn
1/2 stick butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Optional: bacon or pancetta bits
Roasted Butternut Squash Preheat oven to 375* degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds(you can keep the seeds and bake them as a snack, or throw away) sprinkle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and enough herbs de Provence to cover the whole face of the squash. Roast squash on a baking sheet covered w parchment paper or aluminum foil, and bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until tender enough to easily poke with a fork. While the squash is roasting, sauté the diced onion in a skillet until browned (I use half olive oil & half butter in the skillet – just enough to coat all of the diced onion). When onion starts to brown, add two cloves of chopped garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes or so. Set aside. When your squash is done roasting, let it cool so it’s not too hot to the touch. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. While pasta is cooking, scoop the squash into a bowl. Stir the onion and garlic into the squash mixture. Add a pinch of nutmeg and handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix until smooth. Drain pasta. Mix pasta and squash mixture in a bowl. Top each serving with brown butter sage sauce, Parmesan cheese, and crispy pancetta or bacon.
Brown Butter Sage Sauce Melt a quarter stick of butter with olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until it’s a pale golden color, about 3-4 minutes. Add the sage leaves and minced garlic clove and cook until crisp, about 2 minutes. Add a pinch of nutmeg, and spoon sauce onto individual servings of pasta.