Yes, this is Peaceful Dumpling’s fourth consecutive pumpkin/squash recipe this week. If you hate pumpkin/squash, I’m sorry, things are just going to be like this for a while, mmkay? But who really hates pumpkin? (Am imagining in my head the cantankerous copy editor whom we like to call Lord Voldemort–he also doesn’t like chocolate.) But even Voldemort would fall for this pasta perfection that combines my three loves: pasta, butternut squash, and vegan tomato “cream” sauce, aka rose sauce or vodka sauce. Its savory, salty, and slightly sweet flavors are so complex and harmonious, and yet the ingredients and prep are so simple. As you saute the butternut squash in the pan, it gets all browned and caramelized, and then some of it gets mashed in the pan forming the basis of the creaminess. You then tie everything together with my secret tomato “cream” sauce for that final touch.
Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta with Tomato “Cream” Sauce
5 oz dry pasta (fusilli, penne, ziti, or cellentani)
1 cup butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
7-8 medium white button mushrooms
Dash ground sage
Dash dried thyme
1 1/2 Tofurky Italian sausage, sliced (optional, but delicious)
2 heaping tbsp tahini
1 cup marinara sauce
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Boil pasta in a large sauce pan according to direction, about 10 minutes for al dente.
2. Put a large saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, and when it is bubbling slightly, add butternut squash. Toss lightly to coat, then cover with a lid and let it cook for a few minutes on its own.
3. After 3 minutes or so, add chopped onion, stir again, and put the cover back on. Let it continue cooking for another five minutes or so, checking periodically for sticking. If it’s browning and sticking too much to the pan, just reduce the heat. But squash and onions will both release moisture as they cook.
4. Add mushrooms to the pan, and salt and pepper generously. Add dash of ground sage and thyme. Stir well and let the veggies do their thing for a few minutes. Add Tofurky sausage slices, if using. Take off the heat when the butternut squash is cooked through, caramelized and partly mashed.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk 2 tbsp tahini with 1 cup tomato sauce until it turns pink and creamy. Drain pasta when it is al dente and add to the pan. Add pink sauce and combine well. Finish with a dash of freshly cracked black pepper.
Also in Squash: Savory Fall Kanten Recipe
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling