As I mentioned in my focaccia post earlier this week I decided to plant quite a few herbs. Today I am sharing with you what I opted to make with the fresh sage I picked… A Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta in a Browned Butter Sage Sauce. This was the first time I had planted sage and while I have purchased it a few times in the supermarket, there is really nothing like growing your own herbs and vegetables. Although, the tomatoes, cucumber and eggplant I planted are in fact fruits thanks to the seeds inside of them and because they all come from the flower of the plant. Back to the sage though, the leaves were enormous and so fragrant.
I started by peeling and chopping up a small butternut squash. I usually take the easy route and buy butternut squash already chopped, but since it’s not Fall yet it wasn’t available at my local supermarket. I did learn though that peeling and chopping up a small butternut squash is much easier than a large one. Next, I tossed it with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven for about 35 minutes.
Next, I boiled some pasta. Now, I would stick with penne or farfalle for this dish. I just find that it mixes better with the sauce and the size of that pasta is a good ratio for the small chunks of butternut squash. And finally, I made the browned butter sage sauce. In a large skillet, I combined half a stick of butter along with my fresh sage leaves over medium-low heat. I let the butter cook until it was beginning to brown and then added in minced garlic and cooked it for a minute more. Now, you need the sage leaves to crisp up so you can crumble them into the dish. That won’t happen though until you add the garlic to the melted butter and everything begins to sizzle. Make sure you don’t overcook the butter or the garlic or your sauce will be bitter. After the minute, I removed the pan from the heat, removed the sage leaves and added in the cooked pasta and roasted butternut squash. I crumbled the sage and then added it back to the skillet. I gave everything a good toss to make sure it was evenly coated with the browned butter and then tossed in some parmesan cheese and dinner was ready!
Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta in a Browned Butter Sage Sauce
1 small to medium butternut squash, 2 pounds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces pasta*
1/4 cup unsalted butter
18-24 fresh sage leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
*Ideal pasta would be a penne or farfalle
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Peel the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds and then cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch cubes. Transfer the cubes to a large baking sheet and drizzle with the oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper on top. Toss the cubes to evenly coat them with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, tossing them halfway through the cooking time. Set aside.
Cook the pasta per the directions on the box. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat add the butter and sage leaves and cook until the butter begins to brown. Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute. Make sure not to let the butter or garlic burn as the flavor will become bitter then. Remove from the heat and use a fork or slotted spoon to remove the sage leaves. They should be crispy.
Add the roasted butternut squash and cooked pasta to the skillet. Crumble the sage on top. Return the skillet to low-heat and toss everything a few times to evenly coat the pasta and squash with the browned butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the parmesan cheese in and serve.
Recipe modified from The Spruce Eats