This pasta sauce uses butternut squash and Italian herbs to mimic a traditional marinara sauce but without the acidity. 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 sauce that will make the house smell like pasta night.
More Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes
Here’s the 1 minute tutorial that shows how to make this sauce.
A Quick & 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, here’s how to do it:
- Sauté 1/4 c chopped onion for 5 minutes. Add 1-2 minced garlic cloves and cook , stirring for 1 minute.
- Add to the blender along with a handful of fresh basil leaves, 1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves and leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme.
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 out the lemon out if you do not tolerate it.
How to Peel and Dice Butternut Squash
Some markets carry peeled and cut butternut squash. This is a great time-saver but I find that it can be pretty expensive. So here’s an easy way to do it at home.
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. A Y shaped peeler works best.
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.
How to Cook the Butternut Squash
The cut squash can be roasted on a pan in the oven or in pot on the stove top. I prefer the oven so I can set the timer and walk away. The squash then goes into the blender with the rest of the ingredients.
But if you have an immersion blender, the stove-top method makes this a one-pot sauce. You’ll have to stir the squash as it cooks but then the rest of the ingredients go in the pot and get pureed.
This sauce will keep well in the refrigerator for at least a 5 days. In fact, the flavors will get even better. So feel free to make it ahead of time and you’ll have a comforting, delicious sauce that is ready for pasta, spaghetti squash or eggplant parmesan.