Sweet and Smoky Butternut Pasta

Butternut squash seems like an unlikely pasta sauce, but it’s actually delicious when roasted and paired with a few spices. A high-speed blender is nice, but not necessary. If you do not have an air fryer, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and cube:

1 lb. butternut squash

This step is a little time-consuming, so if you want to skip it, you can buy a bag of butternut squash cubes from the produce section! If you are starting from a fresh squash, you will not use the whole thing. A whole butternut squash yields about 2 1/2 lbs. of peeled squash.

Air fryer directions: Arrange the squash cubes in the tray of the air fryer and spray them with oil. Air fry the cubes for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring halfway through.

Oven directions: Arrange the squash cubes on a cookie sheet and spray them with oil. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and then bake for about another 15 minutes, or until the cubes are starting to crisp around the edges and are fork-tender.

(At this point, if you are using a regular blender, put the sunflower seeds and water in it to soak so they can soften and blend better.)

While the squash is cooking, cook according to package directions:

5 oz. pasta of your choice

To finish the sauce, blend together until completely pureed:

2 T. raw sunflower seeds

1/2 c. water

the cooked squash

1 clove garlic

2 T. nutritional yeast

2 t. lemon juice

1/4 t. spicy, smoked paprika

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. liquid smoke

Stir the butternut squash sauce and pasta together and serve with your favorite green veggie.

butternut pasta

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