Butternut Squash, Spinach & Sage Pasta

img_00481I love pasta but have sworn off white flours. That’s why  I like to use spelt spaghetti or linguini for this recipe. I find rice pastas to be a bit gooey and whole wheat pastas to be…well, too whole wheat. Although not gluten free, spelt is an artesian grain I find easy to digest, healthy and as close in taste and texture to the pastas I grew up with.

This dish was inspired by a Whole Foods butternut ravioli recipe. I wanted more color (and garlic!) and less cheese and butter.  So I added fresh spinach bountiful in the spring, used olive oil and fresh garlic cloves, and traded cheese ravioli for spelt pasta. Yum!

2 cups butternut squash, cut in cubes
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, mInced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 box (8 oz) spelt spaghetti or linguini
2 cups packed fresh spinach leave

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan, toss squash in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped sage and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven approximately 25 minutes till tender.  Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Add remaining olive oil to large skillet with onions and garlic and saute on medium heat until onion is translucent. Add remainder of sage leaves and vegetable broth. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add drained spaghetti, butternut squash and spinach and quickly toss until spinach is wilted. Serve alone or with grated parmesan if desired.

Creamy “No-Cream” Butternut Squash Soup

February 9, 2010 by Barb Scala  
Filed under Bloomin in the Kitchen, What's New, soup

Velvety smooth with just a punch of spice, makes this soup a winner sans the cream. And it’s easy because you don’t have to peel the squash!

While winter is still here, enjoy my version of butternut squash soup on a cold day.

img_12611 butternut squash
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups organic vegetable broth
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

My friend Lisa gave me the best tip to avoid the cumbersome job of peeling a butternut squash. Slice it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds then bake it in the oven in an inch of water (also called a bain-marie) with the flat sides down in a 9 x 13 oven proof glass baking dish. I added another easy step. Add the carrots to the water in the pan before baking so the carrots cook at the same time as the squash.  Cook for approx. 1 hour or when a knife can be easily inserted in the squash. Let cool first then scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Place aside with the cooked carrots.

In a large stock pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Stir until softened. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in a blender (I have a high powered blender that purees this soup to it’s extra creamy consistency), food processor or with an immersion blender being extremely careful with the hot liquids. Or let cool first and then puree. Reheat when ready to serve.

Note: Because I use vegetable broth, this recipe is both vegetarian and vegan. I use an organic vegetable base which you can buy at a natural food market. Use 1 teaspoon vegetable base for every 1 cup of boiling water to make a very tasty broth.