On Friday during pickup, I felt bad for one of our butternut squashes. No one was picking it. Maybe it was because of its size and people were intimidated. I don’t know, but I felt bad, and decided I would choose it and bring it home it so it could fulfill its destiny as a squash. This photo doesn’t do it justice–that cutting board is at least 15″ wide.
Anyway, I know about roasting, but wanted to do something a little different. Then I remembered a recipe I had found in Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food a few years ago. Perfect! First you roast the squash with some garlic, EVOO, and sage, and then you puree it with half-and-half to make a delicious pasta sauce. AND, with the size of this thing, I would certainly have enough sauce leftover to freeze and serve later in the season. Click here for printable version.
Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
This recipe makes about 4 cups of sauce; enough for 3 lbs of ravioli, or 1.5 lbs of short pasta. For 4 servings, use half the sauce (about 2 cups). Freeze the rest for later (see below)
- 1 medium (1.5 lb) butternut squash
- 1 TB olive oil
- ½ TB dried rubbed sage (or 1 TB fresh, minced sage)
- Course salt and ground pepper to taste
- 5 garlic cloves, peel on
- 1 cup half-and-half
- Pasta (such as cheese ravioli, or any short pasta) for serving
Preheat oven to 375°. Using a large sharp knife, trim ends then halve squash crosswise to separate the bulb from the neck. Peel with a vegetable peeler. Cut both pieces in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out seeds. Discard.
Cut squash into 2-inch chunks; transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with oil and sage; season generously with salt and pepper. Scatter garlic around squash. Roast until squash is very tender, about 40 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Remove and discard skin from garlic.
Transfer squash and garlic to a food processor or blender; purée. With motor running, add half-and-half through the feed tube; process until smooth. Add 1 to 2 cups water; continue to process until smooth, adding water to thin if necessary. Season again with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. Pour sauce over pasta, toss to coat. Add pasta water to thin sauce if necessary.
To Freeze: Cool sauce to room temperature. Transfer to airtight containers, leaving 1 inch of space. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to use, place plastic containers upside down under hot tap water to help release frozen blocks of sauce. Place blocks in large saucepan; cover and reheat over medium low, adding water to thin if necessary.
I am sure for that some of you the “tomatillo season” may have dragged on just a little too long…I mean salsa verde is delicious, but really, how much can one family eat? I am sorry it took me so long to try this recipe, because now that tomatillos are officially gone, I have found another great way to use them. Or, like me, maybe you have few still tucked away in your fridge…just waiting… . If so, you are in luck. This is delicious and hearty and EASY. It could be eaten as a stew, as a dip, or as I served it—as slightly messy tacos. Give it a shot, it may change the way you look at tomatillos! Click here for printable version.
Serve hot with tortilla chips, guacamole or avocado slices. Also makes a great filling for tacos. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream.
- 6 free-range skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 – 3 dried hot peppers (to taste)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 lb. whole tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sour cream for garnish
In a large Dutch oven bring chicken, broth, onion, peppers, garlic, and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, add tomatillos to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil uncovered for 10 minutes, or until soft. With a slotted spoon, transfer tomatillos, peppers, and garlic to a blender; add cilantro and purée.
Pour the mixture back into the stock and mix will. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pull chicken breasts apart into large chunks and add back into tomatillo mixture. Simmer until slightly thick, about 10 minutes.