Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rigatoni with Butternut Squash Sauce

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

* I am super disappointed with this photo. I was really rushing to eat it as fast as I could after tasting the sauce. Sorry about the poor photography.

I picked up all the ingredients for this at the farmers market this morning, not even sure quite how it would all come together. It turned out to be a huge success and I will definitely be making it again. We looooooved the sweetness of the butternut squash, the salty bite of the Parmesan cheese, and the earthy sage, roasted garlic, and caramelized onion. The inspiration for this dish came yesterday when I was wandering through Williams-Sonoma and came across Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce. It sounded terrific, but $15 seemed a little steep for a pasta sauce, and I would much prefer to make a fresh one anyway.

Did I mention how much I LOVE the farmers market? Along with the pasta I made steamed mussels in white wine, butter, shallots, garlic and parsley. I literally got at least 95 percent of the ingredients for both these dishes at the market. The mussels came out of the ocean this morning, the fresh pasta was made today, and I would guess the veggies were picked within the last day or so. It really makes all the difference to use such fresh quality ingredients. But I digress, on to the pasta sauce!!!


Serves 4

1 medium sized butternut squash
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1/2 a medium onion, sliced
pinch of sugar
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
6 sage leaves, torn
extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 lb rigatoni or other favorite pasta, cooked al dente

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice squash lengthwise and brush with olive oil. Drizzle the garlic halves with olive oil and wrap loosely in foil. Place squash and garlic on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes for the squash and 30 minutes for the garlic. Cool enough to remove skin. Save 1 half of the squash and garlic for a later use. OR serve the other half of the roasted garlic now with crusty toasted bread!

While squash and garlic are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of sugar, and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse the peeled squash, peeled roasted garlic, Parmesan cheese and caramelized onions until smooth.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sage and simmer until fragrant and butter just begins to brown. Stir into the squash mixture. Thin with pasta water and/or milk until desired consistency. Stir in cooked pasta and top with more Parmesan cheese.

You MUST try this. Like, tomorrow.


  1. I will absolutely try this! I love butternut squash!

  2. Found this from the Gwendolyn Strong site - and I'm a cook so I am picky - THESE RECIPES ROCK!!!! - I'll be back to check out more - I just bought some rigatoni so I just might have to go back for the squash!! Congratulations on all your participation with the Strong Family - they are spectacular people.

  3. OK Marina, so I just made this for dinner tonight with rice noodles (cause I didnt have rigatoni in my pantry)- oh my gosh it is so freaking good!!! I was licking my bowl...haha! My mom is visiting next week and she is not a veggie person but loves creamy stuff= so I am making this for her as it is healthy but it sure doesnt taste like it! Thank so much:-)

  4. I just finished making this and it is DELICIOUS! I am a rookie in the kitchen, so it took me awhile and I have a ton of dishes to clean, but it was worth it. Thank you so much and keep the delicious-ness coming!

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  6. I just made it for me and Chris last night, it was AMAZING. I was tasting the sauce throughout the entire cooking process so I was pretty full by the time it was ready. :) It was so savory, smooth and tasty…a definite repeat. I added extra sage and pine nuts on top, which was yummy. Thanks for this recipe, I LOVED IT!

  7. Julie, I'm so glad you liked it! I love the extra sage and pine nuts on top - I'm going to do that next time.

  8. This recipe inspired me to springboard with my own, and it came out GREAT! (My skeptical hubby LOVED it, and asked if I wrote down my recipe.) Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Julie1:38 PM

    Just made this sauce today. It is delicious! Can't wait to eat dinner! Thanks for the recipe.

  10. My goodness was this good!


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