This dish is basically fall in a bowl. Cozy, comforting, and filling pasta with warm flavors like sage and nutmeg in a creamy butternut squash sauce. It’s everything you need for the perfect fall dish.
Granted, it doesn’t exactly feel like fall here still seeing as it’s been in the upper 80’s these past few days, but we can pretend is cool and crisp outside while eating this delicious pasta in the air conditioning.
Honestly the hardest part about this dish is probably cutting the butternut squash. You can definitely buy pre-cut squash, but it’s usually more expensive and somewhat wasteful to buy the extra packaging. Plus I broke the steps down for you with pictures so you can be an expert in cutting butternut squash. I mean, what a great talent to gain.
What’s so great about butternut squash?
Butternut squash is a staple in a lot of Fall meals and is chock full of nutrients to keep your body moving. It is high in potassium and low in fat with a good dose of dietary fiber. Also, since it contains seeds, butternut squash is technically a fruit. Butternut squash also is high in vitamin B6, vitamin A (as beta-carotene), and folate. Not too shabby for this gourd!
How to cut a butternut squash:
- Cut off a half inch or so from each end.
- Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler.
- Cut the squash in half so you have two shorter cylinders.
- Cut each cylinder in half again lengthwise.
- You’ll see there’s seeds and pulp inside the bottom half, scoop all that out and discard.
- Place the squash pieces flat on the cutting board and slice into half circles about a half inch thick.
- Continue to dice the squash into small cubes, no more than an square inch around.
This is the easiest way I’ve found to get the squash cut easily and all relatively the same size. Since we’re roasting then blending the squash here, the smaller the pieces are the better to speed up the cooking time.
The rest of the dish comes together pretty easily. Slice some mushrooms and onions and toss them in a pan with some butter. The trick to getting these nice and caramelized is to use a low heat and not to mess with them too much while they’re cooking. Towards the end we’re going to add sage and a splash of balsamic vinegar to bring some brightness and depth to the dish.
To finish the butternut squash sauce, once nice and tender, add the squash to a blender with some milk and pasta water and a touch of nutmeg. I used almond milk here, any milk dairy or non should work fine. After cooking the fettuccine make sure to save some pasta water to thin out the sauce. Water will work though if you forget.
Combine the sauce and the pasta in the pan with the mushrooms and onions, mix everything well to coat the pasta and that’s it! Creamy, smooth butternut squash sauce spiced with a hint of nutmeg, earthy mushrooms and onions elevated with sage and balsamic, there’s really not much better for Fall comfort food.
Make this for dinner this week and let me know in the comments how it turns out! Also, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list on the sidebar to get an email every time there’s a new post up.
Fall Pasta with Caramelized Mushrooms and Onions
Creamy butternut squash sauce with a hint of nutmeg, caramelized onions and mushrooms with sage, this pasta dish is everything you need for an easy fall dinner.
- 1.5-2 lbs butternut squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp butter
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 12 oz fettuccine
- 1/2 cup almond milk or other preferred milk
- 1/2-1 cup reserved pasta water
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook fettuccine until just al dente. Make sure to reserve about a cup of pasta water to use to thin out the sauce.
While waiting for the water to boil, preheat the oven to 425. Cut and peel the butternut squash: Cut off each end, then peel. Cut in half again, then cut each half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pulp and discard.
Lay the pieces flat against the cutting board and cut into semi circles. Then dice into 1 inch pieces. Transfer to a line baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast the squash for 15 minutes or until tender. While the squash is roasting, start the mushrooms and onions. Slice each thinly (about a 1/4 inch is fine) and add to a large saucepan with the 2 tbsp of butter melted. Let them cook for five minutes, give them a stir, and leave them alone for 5 more minutes. Add 1 tsp sage and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, stir and leave alone for 5-10 minutes, until fragrant and caramelized.
When the squash is tender, transfer to a blender and add 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and 1 tsp nutmeg. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add additional pasta water to thin out to your liking.
Transfer the butternut squash sauce to the saucepan with the mushrooms and onions, and add the fettuccine. Stir to evenly coat the pasta and serve!
- For the sauce: add more or less pasta water depending on how you like your sauce. You may want to add more liquid as it will thicken up as the pasta cools/to reheat leftovers.
- Be careful blending the hot squash and liquids, as it can expand and cause pressure to build up in the blender. Remove the small cap while blending and cover with a towel to let the steam escape.
- For the onions/mushrooms: Try not to stir these too often or you risk steaming them instead of caramelizing. The mushrooms can release a lot of water, so it's best to let them be and cook them slow.