This creamy, delicious Tahini Butternut Squash Pasta will be a hit at your dinner table. Roasted butternut cubes are blended with tahini into a smooth sauce and spiked with smoky sage. Green peas add sweetness, flavor and texture. Make with whole wheat pasta or gluten-free pasta. A vegan, soy-free and nut-free recipe. Sauce is gluten-free.
I don't often buy prepped veggies at the supermarket, but when it comes to butternut squash or almost any winter squash, I confess I take the easy way out. Especially when I am cooking on a weeknight and simply do not have the time or the energy to slash into a hard-skinned gourd.
Butternut is one of my favorite winter squashes because it cooks up so sweet and delicious, and is so versatile. I make pies with it, toss it into risotto, and eat the roasted squash by itself straight from the oven. But this recipe I am sharing with you today has fast become one of my favorite ways to use butternut squash.
This is absolutely a weeknight recipe because you can pretty much get it done in under 45 minutes. And if you toss your butternut squash cubes into the oven early, even the day before, you need no more than 15 minutes to pull the rest together. In fact, your sauce will probably be ready before the pasta has finished cooking.
I always have tahini on hand but I haven't often used it in pasta sauces. I can't imagine why. The creamy tahini is the perfect base for a pasta sauce, and combined with the butternut squash it is, in a word, divine.
Adding frozen green peas to the pasta makes it healthier, tastier, and kid-friendly (unless you have a kid who doesn't like peas -- can you ever predict with them?). In that case, try another veggie, like julienned carrots, asparagus or bell peppers. Kale, finely shredded, would work too!
You can add some tofu cubes or white beans to this recipe if you're looking to up the amount of protein, but I really find it pretty satisfying as is. I usually serve it warm, with a leafy salad on the side for a tasty and special meal that takes almost no effort to make.
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Creamy Tahini Butternut Squash Pasta
- 1 1/2 pounds (24 oz) peeled and cubed butternut squash (cubes should be about 1-inch square)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1 cup vegetable stock, divided
- 2 tsp dry sage, divided (if using fresh, increase to 1 tbsp. You can also sub another herb like oregano or rosemary)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion (finely minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 16 oz frozen green peas
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound (16 oz) pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti)
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Place the butternut squash cubes on a baking sheet, preferably one lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil to make cleanup easy. Bake 30 minutes in an oven that's been preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the roasted butternut squash cubes in a food processor or blender with the tahini, half the sage and 1/2 cup vegetable stock. Blend into a very smooth paste. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the onions start to brown. Add the red pepper flakes, mix, and then add the frozen peas along with the remaining 1/2 cup of stock. Cover and cook five minutes or until the peas are heated through.
- Add the butternut-tahini puree and season with salt and pepper as needed. If the sauce is too thick, thin out with more vegetable stock or pasta cooking water as needed.
- Add the drained, cooked pasta and stir well to mix. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.