Last week I wanted a dinner that was different to our usual tomato sauce and pasta night. So I tried a little experiment with a butternut squash and amazingly everyone in this family enjoyed it. My husband said he really liked it which is a bonus. My son I think ate it because it was a lovely orange colour.
Now I realise that butternut squash and other squashes are just coming into season. So mine came from our local farm shop but they brought them in from Spain. However, our local farm shop does not like to use a lot of pesticides on their crops and they also buy from farmers around the world with a similar ethos.
Butternut squash, I have now realised is not only great for soups and stews, but it can also be used in baking and as an alternative to the tomato sauce for pasta. It is a versatile vegetable that houses plenty of vitamins and minerals.
The nutrients in a butternut squash are important for bone health, the proper functioning of the nervous and immune system, eye health, lowering the risk of cancer, managing diabetes and healthy looking skin and hair. They contain dietary fire and squash provides us with a large amount of potassium, vitimin B6 and folate.
A winter squash is an excellent source of both vitamin A and C which help to support the immune system during colder months. So if you are growing butternut squash in your garden I would suggest that this is a good way to eat them up.
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Slow cooker
- Food processor
- Butternut squash x 1 large
- Carrots x 1 large
- Onion x 1
- Chicken or vegetable stock (Can be made for a vegan, vegetarian or meat eater) x 250mls
- Dried mixed herbs x 1 tsp
- Brown rice flour to thicken x 2 tbsp
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Pasta x 300g (I use brown rice pasta but I have a gluten allergy).
- Strong cheese x 100g (If not feeding a vegan).
- Start by turning the slow cooker onto a low heat.
- Next peel and chop the butternut squash and carrot and slice the onion.
- Add all the vegetables to the slow cooker and then pour in the stock.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Leave on for eight hours on a low heat or four on a high heat.
- Once the eight/six hours is over, turn the cooker off and leave to cool for thirty minutes.
- Remove the cooked vegetables from the cooker and transfer into the food processor.
- Blend for a good five minutes.
- While the sauce is blending add the brown rice flour and dried mixed herbs.
- Pour the sauce back into the cooker and turn on for another thirty minutes or until ready to serve.
- Taste and season again if not to your liking.
- Finally cook the pasta and add to the cooker when ready to serve.
- If not feeding a vegan, grate the cheese and add it on top.
Personally, I think this is a great dish for families and for singles. When making the sauce it can be left cooking all day until ready to eat. I made double of this sauce so we can have it on another night. It can be a made into batches as well for when you’re really busy and need a frozen meal. If your family is vegan then you can make this with my homemade Veggie Stock. Also, if you have vegetarians and meat eaters to serve then you can use veggie stock. Once the sauce is cooked fry off diced chicken and add to the dish along with the pasta for the meat eaters. As I said, we all loved it and we hope you do too. Enjoy!