Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Toasted Walnut Cream Sauce

I'm trying to be creative lately with all the winter produce now available in the local market.  Tonight's challenge was butternut squash.  I decided to do something different with pasta by tossing it with a creamy sauce made from butternut puree, so I got out my trusty Cuisinart.

I started by sauteeing about a half a cup of diced onions in a pan with olive oil.  After these cooked for about 5 minutes and became lightly browned, I placed them in the food processor (note:  a high-speed blender would've worked better in retrospect).

Next, I toasted some walnuts in the pan just until a nutty aroma permeated the air.  I added these to the food processor along with about a tablespoon of nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp of sea salt, about a cup of butternut squash I had already cooked until soft, and approximately a cup of rice milk.  I let this puree for quite some time because I wanted to get it super smooth and creamy. 

When the consistency seemed right, I transferred the mixture back to the pan and added 2 tablespoons of Tofutti cream cheese, which I stirred together until melted. You can probably omit this if you have a soy allergy, but I wanted it extra rich and creamy, so I indulged tonight.

Let the sauce simmer until it thickens.  If you accidentally overcook it and the sauce dries up, don't despair:  it actually concentrates the flavor and makes it taste cheesy.  Just be sure to add some more water to thin it out before pouring it over your cooked pasta. 

I garnished the pasta with some of the sweetest tasting fresh Italian parsley from Two Guys from Woodbridge.  Sublime...


Dianna said...

that looks so good, and i love the taste of rice noodles. going to give this a try :)

Mary Lawrence said...

It's a really nice, and versatile, sauce. I discovered today that it also works well in Indian food. I made a big pot of Chana Masala and thought "too bad I don't have any coconut milk, because it needs something rich and creamy." Then I realized I had some of this sauce left from the night before, so I used it as a substitute... delish!

Anonymous said...

What a great comfort food and with butternut squash too! Thanks for the recipe. I can't wait to try it.