Gluten-Free Pasta with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce

Oh November, is that a chill in the air?  Nope, not in Southern California where we are still sunny and in the 70’s.  I am low key bitter about this, where is my fall weather at??  I want to wear sweaters and scarves, but more importantly eat cold weather foods such as stews and basically bake to my heart’s content.  I’m feeling festive and in the fall mood but the weather hasn’t quite gotten the memo yet.  Not gonna let that stop me though as I was craving some comfort food last night and whipped up pasta with a butternut squash sauce featuring brown butter, hazelnuts, and sage.  Yum!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pasta so you can expect tons of pasta recipes from me in the future.  For the most part I try to use gluten-free pastas (quinoa pasta is my go-to) in all my recipes as I figure why not, it tastes virtually the same and provides a little more nutritional value in terms of protein, etc. but feel free to substitute your pasta of choice and go organic where you can.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!  Let me know if you have any questions, comments, etc.

 

Gluten-Free Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce Recipe:

Serves: Makes approximately 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 (8 oz.) box Gluten-Free Quinoa Pasta (I used Ancient Harvest Organic Pasta Shells)
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 4 oz. butter, cubed
  • 3 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, 1 whole and 1 minced
  • 1/2 cup shallots, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 12-15 fresh sage leaves, removed from stem and chiffonade
  • salt and pepper

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, toss squash with 2 tsp. olive oil, nutmeg, and cloves.  Once evenly coated stir in 1/4 cup diced shallots and one whole garlic clove.
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread out butternut squash mixture evenly on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for approximately 30 min, or until tender.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta per box instructions.  Mine took about 6 minutes, make sure you do not over cook.  Once the pasta is finished cooking, strain and toss with 1 tsp. olive oil to keep from sticking.  I recommend doing this in the pot you boiled the pasta in so that you can easily add the sauce when ready.
  5. Heat vegetable stock in a sauce pan until simmering.  Set aside.
  6. When the squash (including shallots and the garlic clove) is done cooking add to a blender and puree with the vegetable stock, adding 1/2 cup of liquid at a time.  Puree until smooth and mixture has a creamy consistency, add salt and pepper to taste.  **Careful as this will be hot, remember to take proper safety precautions when blending hot foods.
  7. Pour the pureed squash mixture over the pasta and stir gently until evenly coated.  Keep this warm on the stove over low heat, stirring as needed to prevent burning.
  8. In a sauté pan melt the butter on low heat.  Once melted add the minced garlic and remaining 1/4 cup shallots. Increase to medium heat and add hazelnuts once the butter starts to bubble/ foam,  stirring frequently to prevent burning.  You want to brown the butter but not burn it.  When the butter starts to take on a deeper golden hue add the sage and continue cooking until butter is browned and gives off a nutty aroma.
  9. Pour the butter, hazelnuts, and sage over pasta and gently stir to combine.
  10. Serve and enjoy!