The Flaming Vegan

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'Cheesy Cheddar' Butternut Squash Pasta
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'Cheesy Cheddar' Butternut Squash Pasta

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Cheese and dairy-based sauces can be difficult to recreate within a vegan diet. Sometimes we can get close to the original, but we need to be extra creative in order to convince ourselves and others of our mock-milk dishes. 

One dish that I miss from my dairy days are cream-based pasta sauces.  They are velvety, creamy and savory (also incredibly unhealthy but so worth it).  There are several kinds of cream sauces such as a simple Alfredo, a smokey Carbonara, and the humble North American cheddar cheese sauce.  

This recipe may look like cheddar sauce, but is made with a healthier orange ingredient: butternut squash.  It has a lovely roasted flavor and a savory aftertaste from tahini and olive oil.  

Add nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.  You can sprinkle it over top, or mix it into the pasta itself.  

Sauce:

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 2 teaspoons salt (add more to taste) 
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper (add more to taste)

Pasta ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast 
  • Pasta 
  • Water for boiling 
  • pinch of salt 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F. 
  • Cut the squash in half, lengthwise.  
  • Remove seeds and place skin-side-up on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until the squash is soft. Once cooked (and cooled), the skin will peel away easily.
  • In a food processor, add the squash, oil, tahini, water, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Process until smooth.  If you want a thinner sauce, add more liquid of your choice.  For a nutty taste, add tahini; for a savory taste add more olive oil; and for a neutral taste add more water.  Your choice. 
  • Boil a pot of salted water and prepare pasta until al dente. 
  • Once cooked, drain and toss with the squash sauce. 
  • Serve with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.  It gives the dish an extra 'cheesy' flavor. 

 

Image by author

 

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  1. Green Vegan
    Nice recipe! Voted!
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