An instant take-away from making this recipe: I love Sriracha hot chili sauce, and I think I’m a little late to the party. I’ve always overlooked the bright red bottles with neon green caps sitting on the tables of my favorite Thai and sushi restaurants, my mistake! I finally purchased some after eating at a friend’s house recently, and opening her fridge to find about five bottles of the stuff. She said she’d heard there was a shortage, and wasn’t taking any chances.
Another take-away: I’ve always been intimidated to cook with winter squash (how does one get in there?), and I’ve been missing out. They’re really not that hard to slice if you have the right knife. I overcame the fear with spaghetti squash and now use it regularly as a healthy noodle substitute. Slicing up a butternut squash into cubes was more involved, but well worth it. I even got a little arm workout. I suppose you could buy pre-cubed frozen squash, or even slice a whole one into two halves and scrape out the seeds, roast it and scoop out the soft center (just like spaghetti squash)… but I had something to prove this time, so I went for it.
It was quite a success! The light, fluffy texture… the sweet, savory taste… the health benefits… I’m in love with a food again. I’ve seen recipes blending butternut squash into soups, so I thought, why not a sauce? I’d also heard of soaking cashews and blending them to make “cashew cream,” and this seemed like the perfect combination with my squash.
For added color and an extra vegetable, I added broccoli which I highly recommend, but I’m sure any of your favorite vegetables would go nicely. I also saved some roasted butternut squash cubes to mix into the pasta for more texture, and just for fun. The subtle creamy sweetness of the sauce makes an excellent base for experimenting with your favorite flavors. I added hot sauce, garlic, and lemon. This one is definitely a keeper.
- your favorite pasta (I used 2 cups bowtie pasta)
- 2 cups roasted butternut squash, diced into cubes
- 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and rinsed
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 Tb olive oil
- 1 Tb lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 Tb Sriracha hot chili sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
- 1 Tb onion powder
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 2 Tb nutritional yeast
- 1 cup steamed broccoli
- salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Slice butternut squash into cubes, spread evenly over baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil
3. Roast squash for 20-30 minutes or until cubes are soft, and let cool (save a few cubes to add to pasta)
4. In high powered blender, add all ingredients: squash, cashews, almond milk, lemon juice, garlic, hot sauce, onion powder, chili powder, nutritional yeast, and blend on high until sauce is smooth
5. Cook desired amount of pasta noodles according to package directions
6. Steam desired amount of broccoli or other vegetables to mix into the pasta
7. Combine sauce with noodles, butternut squash cubes, and steamed broccoli
8. Add salt to taste
Sauce makes about 3 cups, plenty to get creative with later!