Vegan comfort food: creamy roasted butternut squash pasta

Barcelona, Spain Hello Ladies, The Man and I have been in Barcelona for almost 3 months… can you believe it? I’m loving our new city but I still get the itch to travel (what can I say, I like to move around) and am really looking forward to my trip to Paris and Luxembourg next week. In the meantime I’ve been keeping myself very busy with work and my online plant-based cooking course. I’m 60% through and I’m still learning so much – it’s been such a good investment in my cooking skills and my health. One of the great plant-based staples I’ve learned to make is cashew cream. I’d read about it before but I was a little intimidated and not convinced that it would be good. Boy was I wrong. Not only is cashew cream a cinch to make, but it’s absolutely delicious. Since it’s quite neutral in flavor it can be used in a million different ways, with various other ingredients. I’m so relieved that eating plant-based doesn’t equal giving up dishes like carbonara and mac n’ cheese – you just need to adapt them. How cool is that? Thank you cashew cream! Vegan creamy cashew cream butternut squash pasta 1-2 The recipe I want to share with you guys is creamy roasted butternut squash pasta that I made a few weeks ago. The Man adores butternut squash so this was a no brainer. Cashews are quite calorie dense, making this yummy dish a bit of a treat. Here’s how I made it:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (or water)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • A big bunch of basil (torn or chopped)
  • Pasta shapes (I used wholewheat penne)

Instructions:

The night before you want to make the sauce, put the cashews to soak in filtered water. The minimum time to soak cashews is 2 hours, but I’ve had better results when soaking them longer. Preheat your oven to 220°C / 430°F. In a bowl toss the cubes of butternut squash in the olive oil and season with a bit of salt. Make sure they’re evenly coated. Place cubes on a non-stick baking sheet and put in the oven to roast for about 30 minutes (ultimately it will depend on the size of your cubes). Make sure you turn the cubes over about halfway through cooking so that the two sides brown evenly. The squash is done when it looks nice and brown and is tender when pierced with a fork. Put aside and let cool. In a blender (high speed if you’ve got one – I dreeeeeam of owning a Vitamix), blend the cashews and the vegetable stock/water until smooth. Then add the roasted squash and lemon and blend again until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Start cooking pasta according to package instructions. When the pasta is 5 minutes away from being done, put the creamy sauce in a large pan over medium-low heat to warm. If the sauce starts to thicken too much, add a bit of the cooking water from the pasta and stir. The consistency should be that of heavy cream, if it starts to get clumpy you should definitely thin it out. Drain the pasta, add to the sauce and stir. Take off the heat, add the basil and serve immediately to your delighted dinner companions. Bonne appétit! Vegan creamy cashew cream butternut squash pasta 2-2

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7 thoughts on “Vegan comfort food: creamy roasted butternut squash pasta

  1. Jan May 28, 2015 at 3:02 pm Reply

    The pasta looks delicious. You know I love anything with basil. And wow Beth! Cashew cream-that’s a whole new world for me. I’m wondering if I can get raw cashews at the local health food store. Very exciting!
    Hope you’re prepared to cook next week. Can’t wait to enjoy the delicious results of your course!

    • Beth @ Culinary Correspondence May 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm Reply

      You’ve got to try the cashew cream – so delicious! I’m sure you can find the raw cashews at a health food store. Here I’ve found the best bargains (nuts can be expensive) at ethnic food stores. Can’t wait to see you next week and to cook! Should I bring my camera?

  2. Jan May 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm Reply

    You betcha!

  3. Emily @ culinarycorrespondence.com May 29, 2015 at 1:08 am Reply

    Drroool! Made the mistake to look at this and now I’m STARVING!

  4. Hanin June 16, 2015 at 1:12 pm Reply

    Wow Beth this looks really good 🙂

    One question though 🙂 What about calories? I remember reading somewhere that Cashew nuts are one of the most caloric nuts there is… I don’t know maybe it is a misconception? (please tell me it is so I can eat this delicious looking recipe without the guilt!!) haha

    I really need to watch my weight again… Man those last few kilos are so tough to lose! Arg!

    Miss you all so much already!
    Big kisses chicas, Hanin

    • Beth @ Culinary Correspondence June 16, 2015 at 5:36 pm Reply

      Hey Hanin, this is definitely a treat as there are the calories to consider. Assuming you eat 1/4 of the total recipe, you would have 270 calories of cashews (then you need to factor in the pasta). Hope that helps!

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