You may be familiar with making your own pumpkin puree, but butternut squash is another favorite of mine. I make some every fall and freeze in 15 oz containers (so it translates well for recipes that use a 15 oz can). I use it to make sauces, like this one, or gnocchi (you can follow the recipe for the pumpkin gnocchi, just sub out the butternut).
Butternut squash has a great texture and mouth feel so it makes a wonderful sauce without needing to add milk or cream. This is such a quick and easy recipe, and having the squash made ahead of time makes it ridiculously easy.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA SAUCE (With homemade bacon!)
8 oz (or a pound if you like) bacon lardons (you could also use chopped bacon, or panchetta, or omit entirely)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T fresh sages, very finely minced
15 oz butternut squash puree
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta (something with lots of nooks and crannies to hold the sauce works best)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain and set aside.
Remove all drippings but a light coating in pan. Add garlic and sage and saute until fragrant.
Add squash and chicken stock to pan and cook for 5-10 minutes over medium to medium high heat until reduced slightly and thickened slightly.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, add pasta and toss to combine.
Top with Parmesan cheese and reserved bacon.
NOTES: To make this without any meat, just use a tsp of olive oil to saute the garlic and sage.
If you have fresh butternut squash, peel, seed, and cube it. Add about 2 1/2 cups to pan instead of the puree along with the chicken stock. Cover pan and cook through, then puree. Proceed again per recipe.