You can use any pasta you like, but I prefer orecchiette (little ears in Italian) because the sauce pools within the pasta and you get a little sauce with every bite. For an extra health benefit look for a whole wheat/grain version. Also, you can use any type of squash that holds up well to roasting.
1 lb orecchiette pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, diced into 1" pieces (yields 4-6 cups depending on size--mine yielded 4 cups)
1 large leek, white and light parts only, diced, washed
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
2 tbsp minced fresh sage
1/2 cup white wine, or brandy (brandy and sage/cream is a match made in heaven, but I didn't have any and so I used Pinot Grigio)
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (I used Whole Foods 360 Brand), plus more for thinning if necessary
1 1/2 cups cashew cream (see below)
1 cup organic baby arugula or wild rocket
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
12 small-medium fried sage leaves (see below)
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and toss squash with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 15 minutes (tossing once) until tender and golden brown. Remove sheet pan from oven and set aside.
- In a large saute pan, add olive oil, leeks, garlic, thyme and sage and cook on medium-low for about 5 minutes until leeks are tender, stirring frequently to prevent garlic from burning.
- Deglaze with white wine or brandy and cook for a couple of minutes until alcohol has reduced.
- Turn heat up to medium and add vegetable stock and cook until stock has reduced by half about 15 minutes.
- Add cream and cook until lightly thickened about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta, rinse well under water, and drain well again.
- Start off by adding 3/4 of the cooked pasta to the pan, along with roasted butternut squash and arugula and toss to heat through.
- Depending on how much sauce you have, add the remaining cooked pasta--you may need to add a little more vegetable stock if sauce is too thick.
- Serve immediately garnished with toasted pine nuts and fried sage leaves and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
1/2 cup raw cashews soaked overnight, drained
1 cup filtered water
- Drain cashews and add to a blender. Add filtered water and blend on high for about 4 minutes (with ear plugs...:-) until creamy. Strain cream and set aside. You'll need 1 cup for this recipe. Use any remaining cream in your morning coffee.
12 small sage leaves
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Heat a small saute pan on medium heat, add sage and cook for about 1 minute, turning once until darkened and crispy.
- Remove from pan and place on a paper towel.
- Sprinkle with kosher salt.