Why It Works
- Roasting the squash until browned enhances its sweetness and brings out its best flavor.
- Cooking the shallots in browned sage butter adds a nutty depth and extra sweetness.
I've been in the mood for pasta, but not the usual red sauce. Thinking differently, I remembered a rigatoni with butternut squash, peas, and porcini mushrooms I've had multiple times at Zero Otto Nove in the Bronx, and put together this butternut squash cream sauce inspired by that.
I wanted to get this done all in one pan, but the amount of squash was just too much to brown in a 12-inch skillet, so I started by roasting the cubed butternut squash in a hot oven until nicely caramelized around the edges. The squash then gets added to a saucepan with shallots sautéed in a browned sage butter along with the chicken stock. After being simmered together, the mixture is puréed and finished with Parmesan and heavy cream.
Rich, sweet, and just a little salty, this is a truly winning sauce. Breaking up the pasta monotony at home, it was a welcome change and one that I'd be happy to make over and over again.
Recipe adapted from Use Real Butter.
1-2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 large sage leaves
1/3 cup minced shallots
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Place squash in a large bowl and toss with olive oil until evenly coated. Transfer squash to a rimmed baking sheet, arranging in a single layer, and place in oven until browned around the edges, about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. When foaming subsides, add sage leaves and cook until they darken and crisp and butter browns slightly. Transfer sage leaves to a paper towel-lined plate. Add shallots to pan and sautée until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and squash, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until squash is completely tender, about 10 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, or transferring to a countertop blender, purée until completely smooth.
Stir in parmesan cheese and heavy cream and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Either crumble reserved sage into sauce, or use as a garnish. Use immediately.
To learn how to prepare, peel, and cut butternut squash, check out our knife skills guide.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 10g||12%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||26%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||13%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 17mg||84%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|