Pasta wrapped in a silky butternut squash sauce and tickled with a few other goodies. This is one recipe you don’t want to miss!
As one of my most loved and most popular recipes, I had to include this in my Debut Cookbook ‘Comfy’!
Preparing Butternut Squash
Butternut squash makes such a delicious pasta sauce, and today I’m going to show you the best way to make it.
To minimise prep, I like to just slice the butternut squash in half and roast it; as opposed to slicing, peeling and dicing the squash into small cubes. Sure, it takes a little longer in the oven, but does anyone enjoy peeling anything, let alone a butternut squash?!
To slice the squash you’ll want a sharp knife and sturdy chopping board. Slicing the off stem will allow you to halve the squash more easily.
Process shots: slice off stem (photo 1), start in the middle and slice down the bottom centre (photo 2), turn around and slice through the top (photo 3), squash should fall open (photo 4).
Roasted Butternut Squash
By roasting the squash we’re not only going to obviously soften it, but you’ll also allow it to release its natural sugars. The squash will lightly caramelize in the oven, which adds heaps of flavour.
In with the squash we’re going to add a couple of cloves of garlic, mainly because it’d be rude not to (aren’t those dents just made to be filled!?) but also because roasted garlic compliments the flavour of the squash so beautifully. When you roast garlic you completely transform its flavour – it goes gorgeously sweet and nutty. No need to peel the garlic, just whack it straight inside the squash.
Process shots: add halved squash to baking tray (photo 1), scoop out seeds (photo 2), coat in olive oil, salt & pepper (photo 3), add garlic and roast (photo 4).
Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce
Once the squash has roasted, it should be buttery soft. From there, we’re going to pop the squash and roasted garlic in a blender with a couple of other goodies:
- Cream – The squash will already be naturally creamy once blended, but an extra splash of double/heavy cream helps things along 😛
- Chicken Stock – This thins out the squash to create the sauce. It also adds a baseline flavour too.
I typically use my food processor for this, which has a blend/puree option, but any sort of blender will do the trick. I’d recommend leaving the funnel open as you blend, just to allow steam to escape.
Process shots: allow squash to cool (photo 1), scoop out flesh (photo 2), add to blender with cream, stock and roasted garlic (photo 3), blitz until smooth (photo 4).
Butternut Squash Pasta
The sauce from the blender will be fairly sweet and slightly lacklustre, so to create the full sauce here’s what else we’re going to add:
- Pancetta – This adds heaps of flavour and balances out the sweetness of the sauce. Plus pancetta/bacon is a match made in heaven with butternut squash!
- Shallots – Fry these in the leftover pancetta fat to soak in that gorgeous fatty flavour.
- Parmesan – This also adds a punch of savoury flavour to the sauce.
- Sage – Butternut squash and sage go together so beautifully. Make sure it’s fresh!
- Chilli Flakes – Balances out the sweet and savoury tones of the sauce and adds a gentle kick of spice.
- Salt & Pepper – Season the sauce generously, the butternut squash needs it!
What kind of Pasta to use?
I love a long-cut pasta like Linguine, just to allow that glossy sauce to ooze in and around the noodles.
Starchy Pasta Water
The sauce will be thin enough to coat the noodles, but it will thicken fairly fast. I like to take the cooked pasta straight from the pot and place it in the sauce, just to allow the excess starchy water to bind all the fats and thin out the sauce as needed.
Process shots: add pancetta to pan (photo 1), fry until crisp then fry shallots (photo 2), stir in sauce (photo 3), add parmesan, sage, chilli flakes and s&p (photo 4), stir then add pasta (photo 5), toss to combine (photo 6).
Serving Butternut Squash Pasta
Serve up right away with any leftover sage, chilli flakes or parmesan if desired! This is pretty hearty by itself, but you could always add some Garlic Bread if you fancy.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this butternut squash pasta shall we?!
How to make Butternut Squash Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)
The Best Butternut Squash Pasta
- Small Baking Tray (for roasting butternut squash)
- Large Deep Pan & Wooden Spoon (for pasta sauce)
- Large Pot & Tongs (for boiling pasta)
- Food Processor/Blender (for sauce)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Ingredients (check list):
- 14oz / 400g Linguine, or long-cut pasta of choice
- 1x 2lb/1kg whole Butternut Squash, or roughly the same weight
- 1/2 cup / 120ml Chicken Stock
- 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup / 60ml Heavy/Double Cream, at room temp
- 7oz / 200g Pancetta, diced
- 3 small Shallots, very finely diced (1/3cup)
- 2 large cloves of Garlic
- 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Sage
- 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes, or to spice preference
- Olive Oil, as needed
- Salt & Pepper, as needed
- Prep Squash: Slice off the firm stalk at the end, then carefully slice in half lengthways. Use a spoon to remove the seeds.
- Roast Squash: Place on a baking tray flesh-side-up. Drizzle over a good glug of olive oil then sprinkle over a generous pinch of salt & pepper. Brush or rub into the squash, then add a clove of garlic to the base of each squash. Roast in the oven at 190C/375F for 45-60mins, or until very soft and slightly caramelized.
- Blend Sauce: Once cool enough to handle, remove the garlic cloves, then scoop out all of the flesh, leaving the skins behind. Add the squash to a blender alongside chicken stock and cream. Squeeze the garlic out of the cloves and add them in too. Blend until smooth.
- Pasta: Add pasta to well-salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Don't drain.
- Fry Pancetta: Add pancetta to a large deep pan over low-medium heat and fry until crisp with the fat rendered. Add shallots and fry until soft and lightly golden.
- Pasta Sauce: Pour in the sauce then add parmesan, sage, chilli flakes and a generous pinch of salt & pepper (to taste). Give it a stir until well combined. Use your tongs to transfer the cooked pasta straight from the pot and place it into the sauce. Toss over low-medium heat until the sauce thickens and clings to the pasta. If it thickens too much, just toss in some of the leftover pasta water to thin out as needed.
- Serve: Serve up right away with any leftover parmesan/sage you might have and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
If you loved this Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!