Roasted Butternut Squash & Sage Alfredo with Rigatoni

Creamy fall pasta powered by plants.
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Leah Vanderveldt is a wellness writer and recipe developer based in Brooklyn. She’s the author of the cookbooks The New Nourishing and The New Porridge and loves learning and writing about food, travel, body image, meditation, tarot, and much more. She’s the former Food Editor of mindbodygreen.com and is certified in Culinary Nutrition from the Natural Gourmet Institute. You can find her cooking up vegetable-centric meals and exploring wellness in ways that are affordable, fun, and a little woo-woo over on her blog, The Nourish Exchange and Instagram @leah.vander.

A recipe that screams fall with creaminess thanks to roasted butternut squash, cashews and nutritional yeast (no dairy!). Banza never fails to impress us with their protein-packed chickpea pasta that's beyond delicious. Whip up this easy comfort dinner for friends and family on chilly evenings. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, plus some smaller fresh ones to serve
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup Unsweetened Almondmilk
  • ¼ cup cashews, soaked in water for at least an hour then drained
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 box Banza rigatoni pasta
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Toasted walnuts, roughly chopped to serve (optional)

METHOD

Roast the butternut squash: Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking tray and arrange butternut squash cubes out on it. Sprinkle with salt and pop in the oven. At the 20 minute mark, take out the tray, flip the cubes over with a spatula, sprinkle sage leaves over the butternut, and rotate the tray. Put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the butternut squash is golden brown and tender.

While the butternut is roasting, make the sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pan over a medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant but not browning. Add Almondmilk and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally and cook for 3 minutes at a simmer. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender.

Add cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and garlic powder to the blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed.

Cook rigatoni according to package instructions. Drain and combine pasta with a few spoonfuls of sauce, tossing to combine. Fold in roasted butternut and crispy sage leaves, adding more sauce for desired consistency. Top with fresh sage leaves and toasted walnuts and enjoy immediately. Serves 3-4.