Hooray! It’s December! The month of festive holidays, snow, ginger bread, sledding, hot chocolate and, apparently, 70 degree sunny days, because I live in Georgia. However, I’m refusing to acknowledge the ridiculous weather. I’m not turning on the AC, I’m sipping hot beverages by my Christmas tree and I’m eating warm, rich pasta dishes.

As I was driving home from work yesterday (with my windows open), I was contemplating what to have for dinner. I’ve had a lot of turkey pot pie lately, so that was out. I didn’t have enough veg on hand for a salad and, let’s be honest, while I may have the most noble of intentions, I almost never make a salad for dinner. I do, however, generally have a box of pasta on hand, and I had a butternut squash and apples from last week’s CSA box. And, yes, mental check list, cream, sage and parmesan cheese. It was on.

I kind of riffed on the idea of a fettuccine al alfredo, but seasoned with sage, onions and brown butter. If I had had sausage on hand, it might have ended up in this dish. However, I settled for roasted butternut squash and was super happy (and sleepy) afterwards. If you’re feeling the need to indulge or chase off some blistering heat (or actual cold), give this one a shot.

sage cream pasta (1 of 13)

Ingredients:

1 lb Pasta, cooked
1 Butternut Squash (or pumpkin), chunked
Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
4-5 leaves Sage, shredded
1/2 Onion, medium, chopped
1.5 C Cream
3/4 C Parmesan Cheese, shredded or grated
dash to 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
Salt/Pepper to taste
Apples, diced
Walnuts, chopped

 

sage cream pasta (2 of 13)

 

Preheat the oven to 400º and toss the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the squash out on a baking sheet or other oven safe dish and roast for about 20 minutes, or until just cooked through.

sage cream pasta (3 of 13)

 

Brown the butter in a medium pot or large saucepan over medium low heat. On my gas stove, that’s about a 3. Let the butter foam up after it melts and then watch carefully because the milk solids will start to brown and it will start to smell wonderfully nutty.

sage cream pasta (4 of 13)

 

 Add the onion to the butter and give it a good stir. After the onions have cooked for a moment, add the sage. Season with a little salt and pepper.

sage cream pasta (6 of 13)

 

 Once the onions have softened, pour in the cream and briefly bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and stir in the cheese. Finish off the sauce with some nutmeg. I have a heavy hand when it comes to nutmeg, because I really like it. If you’re not crazy about it, start with a dash, taste, and repeat until you have the desired amount of nutmeg-ey-ness. Stir the sauce until smooth and then stir in the pasta and butternut squash.

sage cream pasta (9 of 13)

 

Dish out the pasta and garnish with walnut and apple. Now, you might be tempted to skip the garnish, because, hey, it’s  garnish. But seriously, the apple really cuts through the richness of the sauce and the walnut adds this lovely earthiness and a nice texture contrast. Trust me. Don’t skip the garnish.

 

Pasta in Sage Cream Sauce
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Pasta, cooked
  • 1 Butternut Squash (or pumpkin), chunked
  • Olive Oil
  • 4-5 leaves Sage, shredded
  • dash - ⅛ tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ Onion, medium, chopped
  • 1.5 C Cream
  • ¾ C Parmesan Cheese, shredded or grated
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Apples, diced
  • Walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º and toss the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the squash out on a baking sheet or other oven safe dish and roast for about 20 minutes, or until just cooked through.
  2. Brown the butter in a medium pot or large saucepan over medium low heat: let the butter foam up after it melts and then watch carefully because the milk solids will start to brown and it will start to smell wonderfully nutty.
  3. Add the onion to the butter and give it a good stir. After the onions have cooked for a moment, add the sage. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Once the onions have softened, pour in the cream and briefly bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and stir in the cheese.
  5. Finish off the sauce with some nutmeg.
  6. Stir the sauce until smooth and then stir in the pasta and butternut squash.
  7. Dish out the pasta and garnish with walnut and apple.
Notes
If you're not big on nutmeg, start with a dash and taste. Add it a little at a time until you get the right balance.
You might be tempted to skip the garnish, because, hey, it's garnish. But seriously, the apple really cuts through the richness of the sauce and the walnut adds this lovely earthiness and a nice texture contrast.