This past fall, my grandpa’s garden was overflowing with squash! Thankfully it stores well, so Daniel and I have been eating it non-stop since October. As much as I love squash and all the warm richness it adds to dishes, I still need to get creative to find new and exciting ways to use it. My absolute favorite outlet for all the squash this year has been Creamy Butternut Pasta Sauce. In year’s past, when the calendar turns to September, I find myself running to Trader Joe’s to grab their Autumnal Harvest sauce before they sell out. However, as I make more and more of our food from scratch, I decided that I would make this sauce myself too!
What do I need to make Creamy Butternut Pasta Sauce?
The ingredients for this recipe are quite simple. All you need is the following:
- Olive oil
- Celtic sea salt
- Butternut squash puree
- Canned tomato sauce (nothing added)
- Vegetable stock
- Coconut cream
- Ground cinnamon
- Fresh rosemary and sage
- Freshly cracked pepper
All of these ingredients are vegan, gluten-free, and also comply with the Daniel Fast diet. If dairy is not an issue for you and you don’t have coconut cream on hand, heavy whipping cream is a suitable substitute. Also, feel free to play with the herbs as much as you like. Fresh basil and thyme would also be delicious additions to the recipe!
How do I make butternut squash puree?
To make butternut squash puree, take a large squash and slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds and place each half of the squash face down on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Bake the squash at 400 degrees until it is easily pierced with a fork. Baking time with vary greatly depending on the size of the squash. I usually check mine after 30 minutes and go from there.
After the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and transfer the halves to a cooling rack. When they are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat to beat the squash until there are no big chunks remaining. Since squash can be a bit stringy. I then transfer it to a food processor and blend it until smooth.
And that’s all there is to it! After it’s pureed, measure out 30 ounces to use in the sauce. This step can also be done ahead of time–just store the puree in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
What can I use in place of butternut squash?
Butternut squash is not the only thing that will work for this Creamy Butternut Pasta Sauce. Other varieties of squash or pumpkin puree work well too! You can either roast your own pumpkin in the same way as the squash or use the canned version. If you are not following the Daniel Fast, you make want to add a couple teaspoons of honey or maple syrup to the recipe since pumpkin is not nearly as sweet as squash.
How should I serve Creamy Butternut Pasta Sauce?
Although this is a recipe for pasta sauce, after making it, you may find that you just want to eat it by the spoonful as a thick soup! Just kidding…mostly. I just really love this sauce and would be perfectly happy eating it plain! 🙂 My real recommendation though, is to serve it over homemade pasta. You can find my recipe for homemade fettuccine here. Another great option is to use it in my Vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna or Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Rolls. Basically, just use it wherever you would use marinara and it will add a whole new dimension to the dish! Enjoy!
Creamy Butternut Pasta Sauce
- Immersion blender
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 30 oz butternut squash puree
- 15 oz tomato sauce (nothing added)
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- ½ cup coconut cream
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage (chopped)
- 1 ½ tsp Celtic sea salt
- Black pepper (freshly cracked)
Butternut squash puree
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Take a large butternut squash and slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds.
- Place the squash face down on the pan and bake until it is easily pierced with a fork. Baking time will vary greatly depending on the size of the squash. I usually check mine after about 30 minutes and go from there.
- After the squash is cooked, transfer the halves to a cooling rack until they are cool enough to handle.
- Scoop out the squash from the skins and place it into a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat the squash to break up any large pieces.
- Then transfer the squash to a food processor and blend until it forms a puree. Measure out 30 oz to use in the sauce.
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Then add the onions and sauté until they become translucent and soft (about 5-8 minutes). If you wish, cook them longer until they caramelize for a sweeter flavor.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute or so. Stir often so the garlic doesn't burn.
- Then add the squash, tomato sauce, salt, and veggie stock. Stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- On medium heat, bring the sauce to a slow boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Mix in the coconut milk, cinnamon and herbs. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat and serve over pasta or use it as sauce for lasagna. The sauce will remain fresh in the refrigerator for about five days or in the freezer for one month. If freezing, be sure to leave some space at the top of the jar–otherwise it will expand and break!