Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta Bake

Yield 2-4 servings
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound dry pasta (gluten-free, if desired)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry sage)
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 30 minutes and drained

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (gluten-free, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or 1/2 teaspoon dry
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1. Mix the butternut squash with some ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated, 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 40 minutes.

2. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove. When it comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente, per manufacturer’s instrucitons.

3. While the pasta is cooking, remove the squash to a blender along with the cashews, sage, salt to taste, nutmeg, and 1 1/2 cups of water Blend into a very smooth sauce.

4. In a large bowl, mix the cooked, drained pasta and the butternut squash sauce and 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

5. Place the pasta in a smallish baking dish—mine is eight inches by four inches, and two inches deep. Smooth into a flat layer.

6. Make the breadcrumb topping by mixing the breadcrumbs with herbs, olive oil, salt and ground black pepper.

7. Spread evenly on top of the pasta.

8. Place the pasta in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown.

9. Serve hot with a salad.