DUN DUN NUH NUHHH! It’s our first butternut squash noodle recipe of the 2014 fall season!
Y’all, it took me a solid 3 minutes to figure out “dun dun nuh nuhhh” – thankfully, I’m alone in my apartment or else people nearby would have thought I had escaped from an asylum.
Yes! Grab your teapots and leg warmers, folks, we’re spiralizing butternut squash! And that’s not all… we’re making a pumpkin-sage sauce. I mean, I probably can’t get more cliche than this recipe, but it’s sensational and it’s….. vegan!
As Kim-K would say, sure, I’m acting cray-cray today but yesterday, I had the last photo shoot session for my cookbook and we shot the cover (front and back) and it looks beeeeeautiful! Naturally, I’m excited.
Also, I love love love spiralized butternut squash. It makes a fantastic rice, but it’s also just amazing as pasta. It can get a little tricky to cook in the oven – I usually cook it for exactly 8.5 minutes, but all ovens are different, so check after 8 minutes to make sure it’s not overcooked and you probably won’t want to exceed 10 minutes.
If it’s overcooked, it will fall apart easily when you pinch it. If it’s perfectly cooked, it will be al dente (with a slight crunch, but a subtle softness.)
Listen, it’s a small price to pay for an incredibly delicious pasta noodle that’s low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, Paleo, gluten-free, vegan and well, nutritious! If it breaks apart, that’s okay – it still comes across like pasta and the sauce saves the day.
Did I mention the sauce is vegan? Yes, and, if you’re not vegan (or you’re not concerned about eating dairy), fold in 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese after you stir in the almond milk (or vegetable broth), take the skillet off the heat and stir to combine. It will be extra savory and salty, which I love.
Seriously, when I was photographing this, I couldn’t wait to type up this post and go build my fall bucket list (yes, I get distracted easily sometimes when I’m excited). Seeing this plated butternut squash and pumpkin dish made me think of how much I love the fall time and it makes me thankful that I live in an area that has a proper autumn.
Let’s talk about a fall bucket list:
- apple-picking (obviously)
- pumpkin picking and decorating with my girlfriends/bridesmaids
- hot apple cider for no reason
- slow cooker chilis and soups
- get bundled up and go hiking
- hot peppermint tea with honey or frothed almond milk
- chai tea lattes
- bring my DSLR to the West Village and snap away
- fall foliage road trip through the Hudson Valley
- have Halloween fun and eat candy with reckless abandon
- cheer on the runners at the NYC marathon
- pies, cookies, cakes and other baked goods (I’m a horrible baker, admittedly)
- long mornings with Lu, reading in bed with coffee
- yankee candles of all fall scents
- have a Thanksgiving potluck dinner
- go all out with Thanksgiving decorations
- watch scary movies
I’m such a girl sometimes, and I apologize.
Clearly I ate my Wheaties this morning (or drank too much coffee) – I’m going to go chug some water and work on some more fall-inspired dishes for the rest of this week. Adieu, friends… adieu.
What is on your fall bucket list?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Vegan Butternut Squash Noodles and Toasted Almonds with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce
- For the pasta:
- 1 large butternut squash peeled, Blade C*
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup slivered or sliced almonds
- For the sauce:
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 large shallot minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk or vegetable broth if nut allergy
- optional: 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes**
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay out the butternut squash noodles, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 8-10 minutes, tossing halfway through, or until butternut squash is no longer crunchy and is al dente (check after 8 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook- ovens are finicky!)
- While the butternut squash is cooking, prepare the pumpkin sage sauce. Place a large pot over medium heat and once heated, add in the olive oil. Once oil is shimmering, add in the sage and fry until crispy (about 3 minutes) and then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes or until shallots are translucent. Add the tomato paste and pumpkin and stir to combine thoroughly. Then, add in the milk, season with salt and pepper and stir until sauce thins out and absorbs the milk. Then, add in the nutritional yeast flakes, if wanted. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, crumble in the sage, stir and let flavors develop, while the butternut squash finishes cooking.
- While sauce is simmering, place a small skillet over medium-high heat and add in the slivered almonds. Toast for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides and fragrant. Be careful not to burn. When done, transfer to a small plate and set aside.
- When the butternut squash is finished, portion into bowls and pour over pumpkin sauce. Top each bowl with a tablespoon of the toasted almonds. Alternately, toss the pasta in a large mixing bowl with the almonds and sauce to combine and then portion out to serve.
**This is to add a cheesy, creaminess to the dish with added savory flavor.