17 February 2011

butternut squash pasta sauce

this recipe was created to rival the pasta sauce sold by "dave's gourmet". recently my mom bought some and raved about its deliciousness. then, when amanda was here visiting, she also tasted the sauce and raved about it. i did get a taste, a little spoonful of a taste! i am a huge fan of butternut squash. actually all squash. so when i was at costco this week, i picked up a box of the pre-cut butternut squash so i could make something tasty. after getting some advice from my mom (she likes getting her props) i decided to make some of this sauce. and when, i swear to you, my 9 year old (who i am pretty sure is actually already a teenager, not 9) said to me...and i quote "mom, i love this stuff," i knew we had a winner. it actually tastes nothing like you'd expect, and you'll definitely be going back for seconds.

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced (or get the package of pre-cut squash if you can find it)
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 jar roasted red pepper (you could roast it yourself, but i actually like the jar kind)
1 can chicken stock (or substitute with veggie stock if you want a vegetarian version!)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 stick of butter

drizzle enough olive oil to liberally coat a large, rimmed saucier or saute pan, about 3 Tbsp. add onion and celery and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. add garlic and just cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. add butternut squash and saute for about 5 minutes. add to crock pot or cast iron dutch oven type pot. add diced red pepper, can of chicken stock, salt and butter. bring up to temperature until butter has melted (in a crock pot this is done on high temperature for about 30 minutes). stir to combine butter, and add salt to taste. cook in crockpot for about 6 hours on high. this sauce is not too tricky, pretty much cook it until the squash is very very tender and can be easily mashed. i used my immersion (aka stick) blender to blend it all up into a smooth and velvety sauce. add some additional salt to taste. serve topped with parmesan cheese over the pasta shape of your choice. add a few drizzles of heavy cream to put this sauce way over the top!

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