I would lie if I said I didn't eat much pasta. Whether it's in the form of noodles, gyoza, or macaroni, I'm a sucker for boiled pieces of dough. At least I try to maintain variety (were it up to my partner, we'd eat pasta every night of the week).
One of the family staples during my time at university (an era which is sadly retreating further and further into the past) was a tomato and mascarpone cheese pasta bake, a straight-out-of-the-jar meal which satisfied two teenage boys and had the additional benefit of taking minimal effort to prepare. These were in the days before I got really into cooking (thank goodness I didn't continue on to grad school, right?)
Needless to say, I don't consume that sauce now I'm vegan, but it's still possibly to obtain a creamy texture and taste without dairy, butternut squash being a fine ingredient to accomplish such a consistency.
Plus I just needed to use up some leftover butternut squash.
Butternut Squash Pasta Bake
- Preheat the oven to 175° C (350° F).
- Steam the butternut squash, or cook using your preferred method, until you can put a knife through it without resistance. In a food processor or liquidiser, blend the tomato sauce and paste, squash, nutritional yeast, cashews, salt and milk until smooth and creamy.
- Add the pasta to a pot a boiling water and cook to super al-dente, a la just a few short minutes. No more than five. Drain and mix with the sauce in an oven proof dish.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top of the pasta just begins to brown. If desired, sprinkle some vegan cheese and breadcrumbs on top for added texture and eye appeal! Serve on its own or with a mixed salad.