Winter is rounding the bend and I’m right there behind it. Christmas lights are twinkling, the smell of pine is in the air and all I want to do is spend hours in my warm little kitchen drinking mulled wine and making winter dinners.
These butternut squashes were calling my name today, and I decided to take them to a whole new level. I wanted something warm and decadent, but healthy and flavorful. Then… genius struck. Butternut squash noodles. Okay, but with what? Mushrooms.. no, CREAMY mushroom sauce with… sage and thyme and chopped pecans for texture. Oh. My. Goodness. Heaven just happened. Make this. It was divine.
Let’s start with the butternut squash… You will need a spiralizer for this dish. They are incredibly reasonable and work wonders in the kitchen. I have this one and I LOVE it. Begin by cutting both ends off the squash.
Then, peel the squash with a vegetable peeler.
Then being very careful to keep your little fingies out of the way, use a sharp knife to cut the stem from the bulb.
You will only need the stem for this recipe. You can split the bulb open, scrape out the seeds and roast the remaining squash to use in a salad or as a little snack or side dish. You can even roast the seeds along with it!
To spiralize the squash, cut the stem in half crosswise (I forgot to take a picture of this). You won’t be able to spiralize it if its long, so you just want to spiralize the two halves separately. Fit the round stem into the spiralizer and get crankin’.
Here is what it will look like…
Two butternut squash will give you a lot.
Now onto the sauce… Start by sauteing about 1/2 a cup of onion and 2 cloves of garlic in a little olive oil.
A few butternut squashies snuck in there. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the onion and garlic mix. Allow the onions to cook for 2 – 3 minutes until they are transparent.
Then, add the mushrooms with another 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of fresh ground pepper.
Chop about 1 – 2 TB of sage and 1 TB of thyme.
Toss it in with the mushrooms.
Mix the herbs in and let them cook over medium heat for about 5 – 10 minutes.
When almost all the juices have cooked out of the mushrooms, add 2 TB of flour.
Allow the mushroom to cook for another minute until all the white of the flour disappears. The mushrooms will get very sticky.
In a 2 cup measuring cup add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of good chicken stock. Pour about 1/2 of the milk mixture into the mushrooms. Allow the sauce to warm up and thicken. Then slowly add the remaining cup of liquid.
While the mixture is cooking, chop your pecans.
Then, and I know this seems strange, but trust me, add 1/4 tsp of nutmeg to the sauce with the chopped pecans and 1/2 cup of Parmesan and stir.
Add the butternut squash noodles to the sauce with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of fresh ground pepper.
Mix everything together so that the sauce covers the noodles.
Then, COVER the noodles and sauce and set the timer for 10 min. Allow the noodles to simmer in the sauce over medium heat. When the 10 min is up, taste a noodle to make sure it’s soft but still has a little bite to it. You don’t want them to be crunchy, but don’t want them to fall apart. When the noodles are done, serve with some extra Parmesan and some fresh parsley.
Mmmmmmmmm… ok must go.
Until next time…
- 2 large butternut squash, peeled with base and stem removed
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1/2 cup white onion, chopped (1 small onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 16 oz mushrooms, sliced (2 8oz packages)
- 2 TB fresh sage, chopped
- 1 TB fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 TB flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup good quality chicken stock
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Using a sharp knife, cut the base of the squash from the stem.
- Cut the stem in half, crosswise.
- Spiralize the halves into noodles.
- In a saute pan over medium heat, heat olive oil.
- Add onions, garlic and 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt to oil and allow to cook for 2 - 3 minutes until the onion is transparent.
- Add sliced mushrooms with 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt and stir.
- Allow mushrooms to cook for 5 - 10 minutes until almost all the liquid has cooked out of the mushrooms.
- Add 2 TB of flour and mix with mushrooms. Allow mushrooms to cook until flour has dissolved and mushrooms are sticky.
- In a 2 cup measuring cup, add the milk and stock and pour half the mixture into the mushrooms. Allow the mushroom sauce to heat up and begin to thicken.
- Add the remaining liquid, stirring frequently until mixture has thickened so that it coats the back of a spoon. About 5 minutes.
- Add the nutmeg, Parmesan and chopped pecans and stir into the sauce.
- Add the butternut squash noodles with 1 tsp of Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp fresh pepper and mix the noodles with the sauce until fully coated.
- Cover, and allow the noodles to cook with the sauce over medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Taste the noodles to make sure they have softened but are not falling apart.
- Serve with extra Parmesan and chopped parsley as a garnish.
- For those of you out there who need some meat in their meals, try adding some ground chicken or pork sausage in with the onions and garlic. Allow the sausage to cook through before adding the mushrooms and then just follow the remaining steps. Enjoy!