Let me just say that I am not a huge butternut squash fan...and neither is my family. I would say that zucchini and yellow squash are about as indulgent as we will get with the squash family in our house.
But.....I had some fresh butternut squash from the garden and I was feeling a little festive. After all, it just seems like fall and squash seem to go together. I decided not to tell me kids that they were eating squash until after dinner. And I must say I didn't hear one complaint (...it helped not eating dinner until almost 7:00 when they just happened to be famished! haha). They ate it all and my youngest said, "Great dinner Mom". My daughter said, "Not bad, but the sweet potato tasted a little weird." Haha, that's when I told them is was squash. Surprisingly we all enjoyed it.
Roasted Butternut Squash Penne
1 small squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb of mushrooms, cut in half
1 large sweet onion, chopped into large pieces
1 TBS olive oil
1 package of penne pasta
1 TBS pesto, optional
1 lb of spinach
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in a cup of water for a couple of hours
2 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic
2 TBS flour
2 TBS Toffuti Cream cheese, optional
1 TBS vegetable based bouillon (pictured below)
Preheat the oven to 400.
Combine the squash, mushrooms, and onions in a large bowl and pour in the olive oil. Stir well so as to coat the vegetables evenly. Spread them onto a cookie sheet and bake them for 35-40 minutes or until the squash is soft.
Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the directions. For the pasta pictured above I chose a gluten-free rice pasta. I have found that my kids prefer the texture of the gluten-free pasta over the thicker texture of the whole wheat pasta. When the pasta is cooked and drained I like to add the pesto. This gives it great flavor and also keeps the penne from sticking.
To prepare the cream sauce (which quite frankly is optional), simply drain the soaking cashews and then combine them with the rest of the ingredients into a high-powered blender. Blend until the mixture is very smooth.
Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened.
Just before the vegetables are done place the spinach in a large pot over medium heat. Cook for just a few minutes until the spinach is wilted.
When the vegetables are roasted, spoon them over the pasta and top with the spinach and cream sauce.