Best Fall comforting pasta dish!! Delicious shell pasta served with creamy butternut squash sauce, garnished with basil and topped with parmesan cheese and black pepper.
Course Main Course
Keyword butternut squash sauce, Fall pasta dish, shell pasta
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 25minutes
baking time 25minutes
Total Time 1hour
Medium size pot
1butternut squashmedium size
0.5medium yellow onion
pinchfreshly ground nutmeg
1cupparmesan cheese, grated half the cup will be used in the sauce and half for topping the plates individually later
1cuphalf and half creamyou can replace with heavy cream
0.5cupwhite winepreferrably pinot grigio
Cut butternut squash in half. Scoop the seeds and pulp. Roast at 400 degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes. Usually I know it's ready if I can stick a fork in it. Let cool until squash is ok to handle.
Once butternut squash is cool to handle, scoop all the squash and put it in a blender. Slowly add the half & half (or heavy cream). Blend for a minute or two until very smooth.
Chop onion really fine and mince the garlic.
Saute onion and garlic in butter. Keep heat medium, it might take a little longer to saute but it would avoid any burning. Saute for few minutes.
Add wine once onion is cooked and looks transparent. Scrape well with a wooden spoon. You can strain the onion out or leave as is. Then add the blended butternut squash with half and half. Once you mix it well, lower heat to low. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and sage. Stir everything together then finally add half of the parmesan cheese and turn heat off.
To save some time, I tend to boil water in an electric kettle when I'm blending the squash. Then cook the pasta at the same time as when I'm making the sauce. Cook the pasta al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
Drain pasta (over a large pot) and then add pasta shells to sauce. If sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water (about 0.5 cups at at a time) to make it more runny. Give it a good mix and pasta is ready to serve.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Top off for each person as desired, usually we just do more freshly grated parmesan cheese and coarse cracked pepper (kids don't like the pepper). Enjoy:)
If you feel comfortable cutting and peeling the butternut squash before baking, you can cut the butternut squash in inch size cubes after you peel it and bake it that way, then throw the pieces straight into a blender after baking.
This sauce tends to highlight the flavors so go slow with anything from cheese to salt to spices. You can always add more, but it's hard to fix if you added too much. A little works miracles.