This low acid pasta sauce was inspired by a couple of people in my family who need low-acid recipes. Tomato-based pasta sauce is not a good option for them. Even though it is sweeter than tomatoes, butternut squash is a wonderful substitute. Add all the traditional herbs, spices and aromatics and you have a pasta sauce that will make the house smell like traditional marinara.
Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce
Prepping and cooking the squash is a little time consuming, so I wanted the rest of the recipe to be quick and easy. I used dried herbs and spices to speed up the process. If you would like to use fresh ingredients, saute 1/4 c chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves and add to the blender along with a handful of basil leaves, 1 Tbsp oregano leaves and leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme. Either way this low acid pasta sauce will give you that pasta sauce aroma and flavor you’ve been craving.
In order to get a little tang like you would have with tomatoes, I include 2 tsps of lemon juice. I know that some low acid diets include lemons. You can also use lemon zest. This is the yellow outer layer of the skin and it has all the bright lemony flavor. If you need a quick tutorial on how to zest a lemon, check out this post. Leave the lemon out if you do not tolerate them.
Some markets carry peeled and cut butternut squash. This is a great time-saver but I find that it can be pretty expensive. It takes a couple of minutes but this is the most efficient way I’ve found to do it yourself:
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. I find it easiest to hug the squash so that I can use enough pressure for the tough skin.
Peel down to the bright orange flesh
Peel the bottom
Trim the top and bottom to create flat surfaces
Cut in half lengthwise, top to bottom
Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. The seed pod is slimy, so scrape all the way down to the firm flesh and it will come out much easier.
This was a 1 1/4 lb squash (on the small side), so I just cut off the rounded part on the bottom. The remaining large piece was about 1″ thick. If you have a larger squash you may want to cut it in half (top to bottom) to make the slabs about 1″ thick.
Cut into approximately 1″ strips then cut across into cubes.