So a little background on this recipe: This bad boy has been in the works for three months now. I created it originally in August and it evolved from a savory pasta to a mildly sweet one. The difference is, Sprouts/Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods butternut squash vs. Generic Other Store butternut squash. The more natural the squash, the sweeter I’ve found it to be. Feel free to adjust the sweetness with the honey if your squash isn’t fragrant off-season. All in all, I think you’re going to be madly in love with this butternut squash pasta recipe because I surely am!
It’s been a while, eh? All I can say is that traveling is amazing, exhausting, and it demands attention over every other part of “real life.” If you haven’t already, you might want to scamper over to my delightful Chicago, California, Oregon, and North Carolina posts and see what’s been keeping me from recipe writing. These life-changing adventures have also caused me to be a liiiiiittle behind on my “two original recipes a week” goal. So, I’m going to be grounded for a little while. And by grounded, I mean no planes.
So what have I been doing since North Carolina last month, you ask? There’s a little bit of a backstory there. If you’ve known me in the last two years or so, you’ve heard the tales of woe surrounding Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. It’s been a nasty beast that has no “cure” via Western medicine. I’ve had to change my diet, lifestyle, and health regimen to try and beat it naturally. I’ve been taking natural vitamins and supplements for over a year now with no major difference. To be honest, I’m not completely convinced it isn’t because I’m sleeping at least 8-10 hours a night, eating only the healthiest food, and not being stressed out by school. Either way, I’m in my second year of medical leave from ASU, wondering if I’ll be ready to go back at the end of this year.
Butternut Squash Pasta with Sautéed Crimini Mushrooms
- 2 c. gluten-free brown rice pasta (I use Costco's Goldbaum's GF penne 16 oz.)
- 1 medium to large butternut squash
- 1 lb. cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1.5 c. unsweetened almond or flax milk
- 8 oz. coarse chopped mushrooms
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 Tbs. rice flour or coconut flour
- 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. ground mustard
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 3 Tbs. fresh chopped basil (approx. 2/3 oz.)
- 1 Tbs. fresh minced ginger
- 1 Tbs. unrefined honey (more if your squash isn't as sweet)
- 3 Tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice
1. Wash butternut squash, then cut in half longways. Remove all the seeds with a spoon and place cut side down on a well-greased cookie sheet. I clean the seeds and put them on the cookie sheet, too. They’ll be ready in about 25 minutes, then salt and enjoy. Taste like mini pumpkin seeds. Yes, they taste mini.)
2. Bake at 400 F for 40-45 minutes.
3. While the squash is in the oven, prepare the milk, oil, spices, ginger, honey, and lime juice in a bowl and set aside.
4. Sautée the chopped mushrooms with 2 Tbs. olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. (Remember, don’t crowd the mushrooms!) Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl just before the mushrooms start to sweat. If there is any excess liquid, pour it off.
5. When squash is ready, turn over and let cool. (I like to speed up the process by placing the pan in front of a fan or by the window if it’s cool.)
6. While the squash is sitting, simmer the milk/spices mixture on medium to medium-low heat. Sprinkle the flour in and let thicken. This should take about 5-10 minutes depending on the size pan.
7. Boil pasta according to directions. (For Costco brand, bring water to a boil. Add 1 Tbs. olive oil and 1 tsp. salt, then pasta. Reduce to medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.)
8. When the squash is cool, you’ll put the butternut meat and sauce mixture in a blender and puree. To remove butternut squash from skin, turn the squash cut side down. Scrape skin off with a spoon. Don’t even try scooping it out with the skin on, it’s a total nightmare.
9. When the mixture is smoothly pureed, fold sauce into pasta and mix in fresh basil, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
I am extremely excited to share this recipe in particular. It’s been a solid favorite of mine for a while and it may have taken about that long to get it right, but I’m so happy for you all to try it now! Please give me your thoughts when you try it! I always encourage suggestions and of course recipe love, too.