Butternut Pasta

I’m not sure where the last month has gone: I’ve had this recipe ready for a few weeks, but just haven’t had time to write it up properly before now. Work’s been busy, but also a lot of the cooking I’ve been doing has been in Zelda (so good), and any other spare time has gone into researching cats (more on that soon…!). I hope this recipe will be worth the wait, though!

It’s a lovely meal at this time of year, where we’re starting to look for lighter spring flavours but still in need of comfort food on chillier evenings. Here, the silky butternut sauce fulfills that brief, but the soft crunch of the pine nuts and red onion, and the citrus, grassiness of the parsley cut through it beautifully.

Ingredients (serves 2):
– 600g butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– ½ tsp smoked paprika
– handful fresh thyme sprigs, or ½ tsp dried thyme
– 150g spaghetti
– 25g pine nuts
– 1 red onion
– 50ml single cream
– 50g vegetarian parmesan, grated
– handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Drizzle the butternut squash with a little olive oil, then toss with the garlic, paprika and thyme. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.

2. After about 20 minutes, cook the spaghetti to pack instructions. Drain, reserving the water. Toast the pine nuts for a few minutes in a dry frying pan, until golden. Set aside. Add a splash of olive oil to the frying pan and cook the red onion on a low heat for about 10 minutes, until softened.

3. Put half the roasted butternut squash in a food processor with the cream and vegetarian parmesan, and blitz until smooth. Add 4-5 tbsp of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce (the rest can be discarded).

4. Stir the butternut sauce into the spaghetti, along with the rest of the roasted squash, the pine nuts, red onion and chopped parsley.

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