Butternut Squash Rigatoni

1

December 1, 2012 by Lauren

I start from other people’s recipes a lot.  Kind of like when you’re picking out clothes, though, I start to think ‘well, wouldn’t it be nice if it had a bit more richness?’  This dish happened after I’d forgotten how to make the original dish and figured I could wing it.  Man was I right.  I discovered that a blended squash sauce could be mixed with just about anything and then thinned out (or left thick) to fit your tastes.  I lovingly call this “fake mac and cheese.”  It looks orange and gooey, but is much healthier than a whole bowl of melted cheese. After the recipe I’ll write about other ways that I’ve used the squash base, but at the end of the day — this one’s probably my favorite to come back to.

 

Click on any picture below to see them larger and get a play by play (click any picture to close and return):

 

Butternut Squash Rigatoni

Active Cook Time: 35 minutes
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash, large
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped (optional)
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Directions:
  1. Cut butternut squash into 1″ thick discs.  Take each disc and remove the rind using your knife.  Scoop out and discard any seeds and generally cut into 1″x1″ cubes.
  2. In a saute pan, add olive oil and brown onions, about 3 minutes.  During last 30 seconds, add garlic to the center of the pan and let cook slightly.
  3. Add butternut squash chunks and saute until you’ve browned them a bit.  They’re hard to brown, so make sure not to move them around in the pan much.  I typically do this for about 6 minutes.
  4. Add chicken stock to the pan and cover.  Cook this mixture over medium anywhere from 10-15 minutes.  You want your squash to be cooked, but not complete mush.  If a knife easily slides in and out of a big piece, you’re good.
  5. Carefully ladle the squash pieces into a blender (if you have an immersion blender you can simply use that).  Add some of the chicken stock and puree.  In order to get the stock to blend I find I sometimes have to add more of the stock.
  6. Once blended, pour the squash puree back into the pan and add cream.  Stir until incorporated.  At this point add more stock if needed to loosen up the sauce.
  7. Add your parmesan and stir.  Taste and salt and pepper as needed.  Parmesan is salty, so make sure to put that in first.
  8. Turn off the heat and toss the basil in, stirring around lightly. Pour sauce over pasta and serve.

Butternut squash goes on sale for $.99/lb pretty regularly and cheaper than that sometimes too.  It has a taste that screams fall and is plain enough to go well with lots of fun additions.  I have added in curry powder and cayenne to the thick puree and it works as a wonderful side.  Simply adding more stock to that curried mixture made the heartiest soup which I topped with homemade croutons (just toss bread in olive oil, salt, pepper and roast for a bit) and a tiny beet salad.  I amped up the garlic (roasted some and blended it in) for a spread on toasted baguette slices.  Best part is, as long as you don’t add the cream, you can freeze the puree part very nicely and use it whenever you’d like.


1 comment »

  1. […] Butternut Squash Soup – So I did this last week, but I added ginger, apples and curry.  Oh wow!  It was quintessential fall.  I can die happy now. […]

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