13 May 2009

So a couple of weeks ago (yes, I am always behind on this blog!) I was trying to put together dinner with limited ingredients. It was just before grocery shopping day so I was scraping the bottom of the barrel, or in this case, bottom of the pantry! I had some vacuum-packed gnocchi but I had no pasta sauce to speak of. No tomato or alfredo, or the ingredients to make pesto. I spotted a can of pureed butternut squash that I had picked up at Trader Joe's in Chicago. I wasn't sure what I would use it for when I bought it, but I thought it might come in handy. I got the bright idea to make a pasta sauce out of it.

When I was trying to decide how to flavor it, I came up with two spices/herbs that go really well with butternut squash: nutmeg and sage. I had some homemade dried sage that a friend gave me last fall, so I decided to go with that.

Here's the recipe that I came up with.

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

2 tbsp butter
2 tsp dried sage
2 cups pureed butternut squash (or a 15 oz. can)
½ cup chicken stock

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add sage and turn down to medium-low. The sage should get soft but not fry. Add squash puree and chicken stock and stir to combine. Turn heat back up and let it simmer and reduce down a bit.

Makes 2 cups.

It's pretty rare that you see me post a recipe that I came up with completely on my own. Usually I start with one I have seen somewhere and have adapted to my tastes. But this one is all mine. And I have to say, I'm pretty proud of it! It was great on the gnocchi and Jim loved it.

Like it says, this recipe makes 2 cups. I cooked up one pound of gnocchi and it only required a ½ cup of the sauce. So I divided the other 1 ½ cups and froze them individually. So the next time I make this, I can grab the sauce from the freezer and I'll have the perfect amount for my gnocchi.

And of course, this sauce is packed with great vitamins and minerals. One half cup of pureed squash has 2 grams fiber, 80% Vitamin A, 2% calcium, 8% Vitamin C, and 4% iron. You won't get that from tomato, alfredo, or pesto sauce.

When I run out of the leftovers I have in the freezer, I would like to try it with the nutmeg next time and see how that tastes.

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