Pasta with Butternut & Chilli Sauce Recipe | Abel & Cole

Pasta with Butternut & Chilli Sauce

Cooking time
Serves4 people
Vegetarians Vegans
Pasta with Butternut & Chilli Sauce

Butternut squash makes a smooth and silky sauce for tender pasta shapes, especially when it's blitzed with a splash of soya cream, a pinch of chilli flakes and a few sprigs of fragrant thyme. You'll serve it topped with roast cherry tomatoes for an extra burst of flavour.


  • 500g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of thyme
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 200ml soya cream
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 360g orzo or small pasta shells
  • 1 lemon
  • 50g rocket
  • 25g pine nuts

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 25 mins

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1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Tumble the cherry tomatoes into a roasting tin. Pour over 1 tbsp oil and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Slide the tomatoes into the oven and roast for 20-25 mins, till the tomatoes are softened and starting to collapse. Pop the cooked tomatoes to one side.
2. While the tomatoes roast, trim the butternut squash and peel it, then slice it in half and scoop out the seeds (see our tip on how to use up the seeds). Slice the squash into 1-2cm-thick chunks. Peel the onions and finely chop them. Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Pick the thyme leaves off their woody stems.
3. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a large pan and warm over a medium heat. Slide the squash, onions, garlic and thyme into the pan. Scatter in a small pinch of chilli flakes (chilli flakes are spicy, so start by adding a small amount and tasting. You can add more later, if you like). Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and pop a lid on the pan. Cook the squash and onions for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, till the veg start to soften.
4. Fill your kettle and boil it. Pour 200ml hot water into the pan with the squash. Crumble in the vegetable stock cube and stir well. Bring up to the boil, then simmer with the lid on for 15 mins, till the squash is soft enough to be mashed with the back of a fork.
5. Fill a separate, large pan with the rest of the hot water from the kettle. Top the pan up, if necessary, till it's two-thirds full. Add a generous pinch of salt, then set on a high heat to come to the boil.
6. Pour the soya cream into the pan and sprinkle in the nutritional yeast. Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer. Take off the heat. When the sauce is warm, use a stick blender to whizz into a smooth sauce. No stick blender? Use a masher to mash the squash into a chunkier sauce. Set aside with the lid on to keep warm.
7. Meanwhile, check the water in the other pan is boiling. When it is, add the gnocchetti pasta. Simmer the pasta for 8-10 mins, till tender with a slight bite. When cooked, drain the pasta well and tip it back into a pan.
8. Pour most of the butternut sauce over the cooked pasta and stir well to combine – you want a sauce that clings to the pasta without being soupy. Add the remaining sauce if needed, otherwise see our tip below on how you can use up any leftover sauce.
9. Squeeze a little lemon juice into the pan and stir well. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Divide the pasta between shallow bowls and dot the roasted cherry tomatoes on top. Scatter over the rocket leaves, pine nuts and little more dried chilli, if liked. Serve straight away.
10. Love Your Leftovers
The pasta and sauce will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Divide the pasta and sauce between tubs and seal. Reheat in the microwave or on the hob, with an extra splash of water or stock, till piping hot. Top with the pine nuts and rocket to serve.
11. A Sauce For All Occasions
Pop any leftover butternut squash sauce into a jug or tub and allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. It can be folded through more pasta on another day, added to a risotto, or it makes a a great base for soups and stews. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
12. No Waste, More Taste
You can turn the seeds from your squash into a tasty snack. Pull off any threads of flesh stuck to them, then tip the seeds into a bowl. Add a glug of oil, a pinch of salt and your choice of spices (smoked paprika, ground cumin, garam masala or cinnamon are all good choices). Toss to coat. Fry in a dry frying pan set on a medium heat for 3-4 mins, stirring occasionally, till puffed up and browned. Store in an airtight tub for up to 7 days.
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