This nutrient rich, warm, and comforting pasta is excellent for dinner any time of year. Just roast the squash, scoop it into a skillet sizzling with shallots, garlic, and fresh herbs, and blitz with an immersion blender. Thirty-five minutes later? Bliss.
1largebutternut squashstem removed, halved lengthwise, and seeded
2tablespoonsolive oilor butter
2mediumshallots (or 1 large)thinly sliced
4garlic clovesthinly sliced
4leavesfresh sagefinely minced
1 ½cupschicken stockvegetable stock works, too
¼teaspoonfreshly grated nutmeg
1/2cupRomano cheesefinely grated, for serving
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place the butternut squash face down on a baking sheet (line with parchment paper for easy clean-up). Roast until tender and somewhat caramelized, about 27 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Remove ½ cup pasta water then strain and set aside. Return the pot to the stove; Over medium heat, warm the olive oil then saute the shallots and garlic until somewhat tender, about 4 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and minced sage; Stir to combine. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh of the roasted squash into the pot; add the chicken stock.
Use an immersion blender to puree the squash into a thick sauce. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer just to warm. Add the pasta directly to the warm sauce and thin only if necessary with the pasta water. Toss to coat then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with nutmeg and Romano cheese.
If your sauce is bland, try adding a lot of finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, taste, then see if it needs more salt or freshly ground pepper.