Butternut squash is one of my all-time favorite fall and winter vegetables. There is something irresistible about its nutty, buttery, sweet, and savory flavors. Plus, butternut squash is such a versatile vegetable. Well, I guess technically squash is a fruit because it has seeds and grows from a flowering plant. Yet it’s cooked like a vegetable. There’s the classic butternut squash soup, which is the perfect way to warm up when temperatures drop in the fall. My mom and I developed a tasty side dish of cubed butternut squash drizzled in olive oil and roasted in the oven with garlic, pancetta, and sage. Yum! Sage and butternut squash really is the ultimate fall flavor duo. However, my favorite way to savor this seasonal treat is this butternut squash pasta.
Butternut Squash Pasta Is The Ultimate Comfort Food
This past winter in Burgundy, my husband and I were definitely in need of some comfort food. Though Bourgogne is a top wine destination famous the world over, winters here are drab to say the least. For a girl who grew up in sunny Southern California, three months of grey skies, rain, chilling temperatures, and the occasional snow fall are a bit rough. On top of the weather, France was on an endless loop of lockdowns thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. So, comfort food was on the menu!
A delectably creamy butternut squash pasta did (and still does) the trick. This recipe was developed from two inspirations. First, the classic American macaroni and cheese. It doesn’t get more comforting than that. Secondly, one of the most memorable dishes of my life—butternut squash and sage ravioli in brown butter sauce, cherished at my favorite Sonoma haunt, The Girl and The Fig. My Italian husband still talks about the mac and cheese we enjoyed at a Thanksgiving get together when we lived in California. While I still dream about those exceptionally savory ravioli. Subsequently, this butternut squash pasta combines elements of both. I promise whoever you’re cooking for will be begging for seconds.
Though you can use your pasta of choice, I find fusilli to be the ultimate pasta for this dish. The creamy butternut squash sauce coats every nook and cranny of this pasta perfectly. Thus, you get maximum flavor with every bite. If you are vegan, feel free to skip the cream, butter, and cheese additions. Use olive oil and your alternative milk of choice instead.
Wine Pairings For Butternut Squash Pasta
There are a few wines which pair equally well with this pasta dish. Pinot Noir really is the ultimate match for butternut squash anything. It has the red fruit notes to contrast the nutty flavors of the squash and herbal aromatics. Plus, Pinot Noir’s earthy undertones are ideal for savory butternut squash flavors. If you’re reaching for Burgundy, try pairing this pasta with a glass of Pommard, which is a bit more robust with rustic characteristics begging to be paired with a wholesome dish.
Alternatively, if you prefer a white wine, try an oak-aged Chardonnay. The full-bodied texture, along with spice and vanilla notes from oak-aging, will seamlessly complement the creamy butternut squash pasta. Otherwise, a Viognier from Condrieu in the Northern Rhône Valley is a great choice. The wine’s rich, full-bodied style meets the richness of the pasta and Viognier’s floral, fruity aromatics will shine alongside the aromatics in the dish.
This butternut squash pasta offers a healthier take on comforting macaroni and cheese, but with way more flavor. The recipe is for 250g of fusilli pasta, which is a serving for two people. You can always freeze left over sauce for a quick and easy meal later.
- 250 grams fusilli pasta
- 1/2 butternut squash, cubed, cut lengthwise, remove seeds, carefully peel using a paring knife cut lengthwise, remove seeds, carefully peel using a paring knife
- 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp heavy cream, panna or Greek yogurt
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1-2 tbsp white wine
- 1/2 cube vegetable stock/bouillon cube
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- pinch dried oregano, thyme & sage
- olive oil
Boil water for your pasta. Once the water is boiling, add a hefty pinch of salt. Add your pasta and cook to just 1-2 minutes less than time indicated on package. You'll finish cooking the pasta in the finished sauce later.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan. Sauté the onions, garlic, butternut squash, and spices in the pan on medium heat for 5-8 minutes.
Add a splash of white wine and cover the pan. Sauté until white wine has absorbed and evaporated.
Add 1 cup of water and the vegetable stock cube. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is cooked through and fork-tender. While the butternut squash is cooking, add the butter. If more water is needed, add a ladle of pasta water.
Add the cooked butternut squash and aromatics to a food processor or blender. Or into a container to use a hand blender. Add the heavy cream or Panna and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Blend until the consistency is creamy
Return the butternut squash sauce to the pan and add the cooked pasta. Cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine. Drizzle with olive oil as needed.