I have some bad news and some good news. Let’s go with the bad news first: I started cooking last night and realized that my Canon camera’s battery was dead. The good news: I still managed to take pictures while cooking…. they’re just in Instagram filters. And more good news: I charged the camera while I cooked and I have a nice shot of the final product!
The inspiration for this dish is from a butternut squash ravioli with goat cheese dish I had when I first started eating dairy again, back in 2010 (after my two year vegan stint). My rendition is a little glammed up (hey, we’re eating zucchini instead of a ravioli, we can get a little fancy!) The savory, smooth goat cheese compliments the crunchy sweet walnuts perfectly and the butternut squash has hints of sweet cinnamon and garlic. Mmmm! The ribboned zucchini absorbs this sauce the best, since it is a bit of a chunkier sauce. This is a date night dish for sure…. sweet notes all around. I’ll keep perfecting it, but in the meantime – enjoy!
Butternut Squash Zucchini Pasta with Honey Roasted Walnuts and Goat Cheese
Time to Prepare: 5-8 minutes (if you buy the butternut squash whole, then 20 minutes)
TIme to cook: 45 minutes
- 1.5 zucchinis, spiralized into ribbons
- 2.5 cups butternut squash cubes (if you buy the butternut squash whole, peel it thoroughly and chop into chunks)
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp Earth Balance vegan butter spread (optional)
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1/3 cup 2% Greek Yogurt
- 1/3 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese (optional)
- 1 cup vegetable broth (preferably low-sodium)
- 4 sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup lightly chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup crumbed goat cheese (or more if you like more!)
- honey to drizzle
- 2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 405 degrees. Toss your butternut squash lightly in olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a light dusting of cinnamon (very light – if you use too much, your sauce will become too sweet and cinnamony). Place in the oven for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
While your squash is cooking, spray the bottom of a baking sheet to coat. Pour your crumbled walnuts on top and drizzle lightly with honey. Mix together with your fingers until all walnuts are coated. 5 minutes before the squash is done cooking, place in the walnuts for 5 minutes, tossing half way through. When done, pour into a bowl and set aside.
Once the squash is done, place a handful of cubes at a time into a food processor. Pulse until no chunks are left. Continue until all squash is pureed. Place into a bowl and set aside.
Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add in 2-3 glugs of olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Once oil heats, add in garlic. After 1 minute, add in shallots and cook for 2 minutes or until shallots begin to soften. Add in sage leaves, stir for 30 seconds and then pour in vegetable broth.
After 30 seconds, stir in squash puree and season with salt and pepper. Stir for about 2 minutes or until squash absorbs the vegetable broth and becomes thicker.
Add in Greek yogurt and Parmesan Reggiano cheese. The cheese is optional and if you’re watching your waistline, leave it out. The cheese gives the sauce a thicker consistency and a cheesy savory flavor, but the sauce tastes great without it! Lower heat a bit and stir for about 1-2 minutes to absorb the cheese and yogurt.
Add in the zucchini pasta ribbons and stir to combine thoroughly.
Once done, transfer to a bowl. Plate onto dishes and top with goat cheese and walnuts!