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.
- 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)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- Water for boiling
- pinch of salt
- 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.
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