You will be seeing a lot of butternut squash recipes coming from my end in the next few months. I absolutely love butternut squash and I would actually put it on my list of top five favorite foods, oddly enough. Now that fall is here, I have already made a list of recipes I have to try with the humble winter squash. Last night I was at the store and saw a jar of butternut squash pasta sauce. Since I had a squash in the fridge I had roasted just a day prior, I decided that I may as well make my own. I made the sauce chunkier this time around, but you can also puree it if you like a smoother sauce. If by random chance you have a parmesan rind like I did, throw it in the sauce and let it hang out while the sauce simmers. It really adds a little oomph to the sauce!
Butternut Squash Pasta with Parmesan and Crispy Sage
2 cups cooked butternut squash (about 1 squash)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups chicken or vegetables stock
1/2 cup milk or half and half
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated, plus more for serving
1/8 t. fresh nutmeg, grated
12 ounces campanelle, or other short pasta
1 bay leaf
12 fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste
In an enameled cast iron dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the butternut squash and half the stock. Chop 6 of the sage leaves and add to the squash along with the bay leaf. Cook on low for 15 minutes, adding more stock as sauce reduces.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Stir in the milk or half and half and add the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, puree in a blender for a smooth pasta.* Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
In a small fry pan, add the butter and heat over medium heat. When it begins to brown, add the 6 remaining sage leaves and fry until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Pour the sauce over the pasta. Top with the crispy sage and more cheese, if desired.
*I did not puree my sauce because I wanted a chunkier sauce. If you do puree it, you may need to add more milk/half and half to thin it out a little. Alternatively, you can add pasta water, which has starch in it.