This umami-rich sauce is perfect for adding some variety to your pasta dishes. It can also be used as a “cheese” sauce where needed. I love when a vegetable can be transformed into a rich, flavorful sauce. Butternut squash pumpkin is a prime example of one of those vegetables. Clean ingredients, no oil needed, and versatile. Give this sauce a try, you will not regret it!
- 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled & seeds removed
- cooking oil, salt, pepper
- chopped fresh or dried herbs of choice, optional (think hard herbs like oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
- 180g (1 cup) roasted butternut squash cubes
- 200ml (less than 1 cup) soy or almond milk
- 2 tbsp. (about 15g) nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp. tapioca or potato starch
- 1 tbsp. (15ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. miso paste (light or dark both work)
- 1 1/2 tsp. prepared (Dijon) mustard
- 1 clove raw garlic or 2 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 tsp. sea or rock salt
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder or dried onion flakes (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. (smoked) paprika powder
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder (to enhance color, optional)
- pinch ground white or black pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil (completely optional, omit for oil-free; this is just to make the sauce slightly more viscous)
Roasted Butternut Squash:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking tray with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
- Cube the butternut squash into 2.5-3cm (1 inch) pieces.
- Place the squash cubes onto the lined baking tray. Sparingly drizzle some cooking oil evenly over the cubes, followed by a generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Ensure that each piece gets some oil, salt, and pepper. If using herbs, also generously sprinkle those over the cubes at this point.
- Roast in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until completely fork tender. It should be soft enough to blend smoothly.
- Proceed to using the roasted squash for the sauce, and refrigerate the remainder in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
- Place all the ingredients into a blender, and blend until completely smooth. You may have to stop to scrape down the sides a few times. Ensure that there are no chunks of pumpkin and that the sauce is velvety smooth. If it is not blending smoothly or if it is too thick for your liking, add a splash or few of the chosen plant-based milk. Taste for seasoning. Depending on your taste, if necessary, you can play around with adding either more lemon juice or mustard for tanginess, miso or nutritional yeast for umami, more salt, or even some spice. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
• This sauce can also be frozen for several months in an airtight container.
• To use for pasta, this sauce is good for at least 250g of dried pasta. For a 500g pack, double the recipe (or 1.5x the recipe will do as well, depending on the kind of pasta used).