Dairy-Free, Entrée, Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian

No-Cream-Added Creamy Squash Pasta

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Another fall classic — Creamy Hubbard Squash Linguine with Zoodles & Sage. When my mom and I went to buy local orchard apples and pumpkins at Wallingford’s Orchard, we also picked up spaghetti, delicata and hubbard squash. (Hubbard is a light grayish-blue in color, teardrop in shape and similar to butternut squash in taste.) Maybe I just needed a break from pumpkin, or I’ve just been dying to try this delicious squash linguine recipe I found on Pinterest. The puréed squash is rich and creamy, so much so, you’d never know there’s no cream; the sage amplifies natural flavors and resembles thyme in taste. The hubbard and sage sauce might be bursting with so much flavor that it could be a knockout on its own — soup anyone? Having previously roasted the squash, the only thing to do next was to try this linguine recipe. I added in both “zoodles” or zucchini noodles and sautéed spinach for some needed veggies, and whole-wheat linguine for better carbs. The zoodles and whole-wheat linguine seamlessly blend; you’d never know you’re eating zucchini instead of pasta at times. The modifications were delectably perfect, and I can’t wait to have this again.

Ingredients (serves 4 with extra sauce).

  • 2 T light olive oil
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves
  • 3-4 c hubbard (or butternut) squash, cooked and cut into small ½-inch pieces
  • 1 c onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
  • 1/8 t crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 2 ½ c vegetable broth
  • 8 oz. whole wheat linguine
  • 1 medium zucchini, washed
  • 2 c baby spinach, washed (optional)
  • 1 T fresh sage, finely chopped for topping (optional)
  • Shaved parmesan for topping (optional)

Directions.

In case you wanted the hubbard squash and sage purée as a standalone soup option, I’ve broken up the directions into separate parts. It’s so much easier to read this way. The basic format is cook the pasta, make the sauce, combine the two and thoroughly enjoy!

For the Sauce:

  1. In a large skillet or pan over medium heat,  heat 1 T of oil, garlic, chopped onion and sage leaves until onions are translucent. Transfer to large food processor Set aside pan to use later.
  2. Place already cooked hubbard squash, 1 c vegetable broth and red pepper in the large food processor with onions and sage. Pulverize until smooth.
  3. Continue adding remaining vegetable broth until desired consistency is reached. (I added about 2 cups total for a thick, bisque-like sauce.)
  4. Add 1/4 t of salt or more salt to taste. Same with cracked pepper.

For the Pasta:

  1. Cook whole-wheat zucchini according to package directions in a large saucepan.
  2. While pasta is cooking, “spiralize” zucchini to make noodles. (You can also use a Julienne slicer for this. When I bought this in December last year, this was one of the few spiral vegetable slicers available. Now, they seem to have popped up everywhere. The one I have is dishwasher safe and available here.)
  3. “Cook” zucchini noodles in the same pan you used to sauté the onions and sage over medium heat. Add remaining tablespoon of light olive oil.
  4. Once zucchini noodles are translucent and whole wheat pasta is cooked, combine both noodles in that same large saucepan.

Combine:

  1. Spoon generous amounts of the hubbard sage sauce over the pasta. Stir pasta until well-covered with the sauce.
  2. OPTIONAL:  If squash was cold to make the sauce, combine the sauce and pasta over medium to high heat. Just add about 1/4 c water to ensure nothing will burn. Remove from heat when liquid is barely boiling.
  3. Again, using the same pan from the zucchini and onions, sauté baby spinach over medium heat. (You probably don’t even need to add any extra oil.)
  4. Plate pasta with sauce. Top with baby spinach, shaved parmesan and freshly chopped sage.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Suggested Pairings.

Adapted from Cookie and Kate‘s “Creamy (vegan!) Butternut Squash Linguine with Fried Sage.”

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