When people in your family are allergic to tomatoes, you have to get pretty creative with pasta sauces. I still have two pesto portions in the freezer from last year, so I will plan to use those soon. Unfortunately, this year my basil plants didn’t grow as well as I hoped, so I don’t have any new pesto in the freezer this year. I harvested the last of my basil before our freeze last night and it was only enough for this dish. Besides garlic and oil, this will be our preferred pasta sauce this year. Yesterday I cooked and pureed all the hail damaged butternut squash I got from a local farm, so I have plenty in the freezer to make this a quick meal. A quick meal is exactly what is needed on a day filled with quilting. I hope to get far enough by Saturday to post pictures.
The most daunting thing about a butternut squash is cutting it. This link illustrates my favorite method for peeling and dicing this winter squash. With the number I pureed yesterday, today I actually just cut them in half and roasted them in the oven. For just one squash I normally boil it. Also, any extra puree that doesn’t quite make enough for one last portion for the freezer, makes a nice butternut pancake. Don’t forget to save those seeds and roast them.
Yesterday was a full day with all the squash processing, so we ate leftovers for dinner. We were running short on sides once we invited my parents for a spontaneous “birthday” dinner, so I prepared this Cuban Yuca to make ends meet for dinner. Yuca, or cassava, is the plant from which tapioca is made. It is also great as a mashed potato substitute.
Today I tossed this sauce with cooked Tinkyada brown rice penne, white beans, sauted garlic, onion, and swiss chard. Other days we like it with Italian sausage and spinach. Let me know if you find a combination of vegetables that your family loves.
Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
(Enough for 1 1/2 lbs pasta)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (about three cups)
1 can coconut milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
handful of fresh basil, to taste (I forgot to put this in the sauce today, so I wilted it with the swiss chard)
1-2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 cup nutritional yeast, optional for a cheezy flavor (I remember about half the time, and still can’t decide which way is better)
In a medium sized pot, cover the squash with water and bring to a boil. Boil until the squash is tender. Strain and add to your blender when done.
While the squash is cooking you can add all the other ingredients to your blender and prepare your beans and vegetables as desired.
Once all the ingredients for the sauce are in the blender, put on the lid and puree until smooth.
Toss the sauce with pasta and your chosen additions.
Serve with a side salad and enjoy!