For whatever reason, I nearly always cube my butternut squash before cooking (whether it be roasting, steaming, or pan frying). It’s rare that I cook the squash whole. I think it’s because in my mind, the whole squash takes longer to cook but in the end, it’s less preparation and really, not much more time. However, when I do cook the whole squash, I steam roasted squash (putting cut side down in a roasting pan with 1/4″ of water). It’s how I saw my mother always cook acorn squash and so it stuck with me. It leaves the squash really nice and soft, perfect for a sauce!
Variations for the Butternut Squash Noodle Bowl
I’ve been keeping butternut squash puree in my refrigerator (along with sweet potato and a few other odds and ends) more Mack to try. We’ve been dipping our toe into solid foods and so far, he’s been a maniac. Sweet potatoes are by far is favorite (my child) but butternut squash is a close second. I’m approaching this from an angle of roast once, have many meals/puree. Of course, for the majority of you who are not trying to feed a baby, use the leftover butternut squash puree in soups, mac and cheese, or use one-half to make twice baked butternut squash.
Sweet potatoes/Pumpkin: I really love the butternut squash in this sauce but you could just as easily use a puree or sweet potato or other squash (or a mix- it’s really up to you!)
Spinach: I used the spinach here to add just a bit of color and because I had a handful of spinach that needed to be used. A heartier green, like kale or chard, would also work but I would toss it into the pasta water to let soften before combining with the sauce.
Cilantro Pesto: I had a ragged bunch of cilantro in the refrigerator that was near the end and I made this cilantro pesto. I shared the simple recipe on instagram, so feel free to pop over and grab that!
- ½ cup butternut squash puree (see note)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Salt, to taste
- Chili paste, to taste
- 6 ounces udon, soba, or brown rice noodles
- 1 to 2 cups shredded fresh baby spinach
- Sesame seeds, for serving
- Scallions, for serving
- Chili sauce, for serving
- In a blender, puree the ingredients for the sauce. Taste and add salt/chili paste as desired. Start with a pinch of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of chili paste and add from there, set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package. Drain, toss with spinach, and once spinach has started to wilt, rinse under cool water until noodles are warm but not hot.
- Toss noodles with sauce, divide into two bowls, and top with desired toppings.
+ To roast butternut squash, preheat oven to 400˚, cut in half length-wise, and place cut-side down in a roasting pan. Add 1/4″ of water and bake until squash is tender, 25 to 45 minutes depending on how large the squash is.