It is easy to grow butternut squash. By the end of the gardening season, our kitchen counter accumulates half dozen or more. They keep for a long time at room temperature, so no need to be in a hurry to eat them all.
Mostly we halve them, remove the seeds, and roast them to use the flesh as a side dish. We’ve been exploring new recipes that reduce the amount of dairy products and oils in our meals. Roasted squash fits right into the menu.
We found a way to make a main dish out of butternut squash and tried a new recipe last night. It is called “butternut squash mac and cheese with broccoli.” It tastes nothing like macaroni and cheese and there is no cheese in it. The name is pretty lame. However, we normally stock the ingredients in our kitchen, and I commonly use the required cooking techniques already. I believe we will try this again. Below is how I would prepare it next time.
Butternut Squash with Pasta and Broccoli
- medium butternut squash (~1 to 1-1/4 pounds)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 8 ounces dried penne pasta
- 3 cups small broccoli florets
Peel, seed, cube and steam the butternut squash until the flesh yields easily with a knife.
Cook the onion, garlic and seasonings in a saucepan with a quarter cup of broth or water. Keep adding broth to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
Start eight ounces of pasta in a large pan with plenty of water. Set the timer for five minutes before reaching al dente stage. May have to SWAG this.
Put the almond milk, vinegar, onion-garlic mixture, nutritional yeast, in a blender and stir briefly to incorporate. Add the squash and run at the puree setting until the big pieces are smoothed out. Because there was so much liquid and squash, I did this in two batches. Place the mixture in a large wok or saucepan.
When the timer goes off, add the broccoli to the pasta and cook together for the remaining five minutes. Drain the pasta-broccoli mixture and add it to the sauce pan with the squash mixture. Stir everything together over medium heat until it comes to temperature.
Makes four generous servings.
Tips: I cut the almond milk in half from the original recipe. The amount will require some tweaking. Use pasta made with chick peas or lentils to increase the amount of protein in the dish. I used frozen broccoli which had been parboiled before freezing. I’d try fresh if we had it. I’d also try Brussels sprouts instead of broccoli but cook them completely before adding to the final dish.