Recipe Test: Vegan Butternut Squash Linguine

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This recipe is from Cookie and Kate and I began to prepare this dish not fully understanding the amount of effort and time required. I have much more baking experience than cooking experience and I am (I found out) in need of some tools and some skills. I am not too prideful to admit that I had find YouTube videos demonstrating how to cut butternut squash and how to chop sage. The color of the sauce was so pretty and I actually preferred the consistency I got straight out of the food processor over the watered down version I ended up with. If I could go back and do it all over again, I probably would have skipped parts of the original recipe’s step 5. Actually, if I could go back and do it all over again, I would first go buy some high quality knives, a big wooden chopping block, skip the fresh sage (the picture below is of the pasta with the fried sage on top), add a lot more red pepper flakes, and use less linguine ( I used about 4 ounces too many).

The amazing part about this whole thing is that my husband, onion hater and limited vegetable eater, ate this dish. I tried to keep him away so he couldn’t see the pan of butternut squash and onions just to avoid the whole conversation. But when I cook, he likes to help (I think he feels bad for me and also worries for my life, especially when I use knives) so he walked over to the stove and politely asked, “What are those white things?” However, since everything was puréed, we avoided the texture and visual issues of onions and he ate an entire plate of pasta. He gave it a 7 on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being best) and believe me, it was an honest rating because when it comes to food, he does not lie. Below is my variation of Cookie and Kate’s recipe. Whenever I buy a good knife to cut up butternut squash I will be trying her Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup. Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground sage
  • 2 pound butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into small ½-inch pieces)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 12 ounces linguine

Directions

  1. Prepare squash, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the ground sage. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Add squash, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is soft and liquid is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 12 ounces of linguine according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
  6. Once the squash mixture is done cooking, remove it from heat and let it cool slightly. Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor or blender. Reserve the skillet. Purée the mixture until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Combine pasta, squash purée and ¼ cup cooking liquid in reserved skillet and cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. (For a stronger taste, do not add much liquid).
  8. Season with salt and pepper if necessary and serve.
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