Fancy a twist to your regular tomato sauce? Then look no further than this delightful butternut squash and tomato pasta sauce. This dynamic duo not only adds an extra layer of richness to your pasta dishes but is gluten free, suitable for vegans and also packs an extra nutritional punch
Are you looking for a change from the same old tomato? Well I know I was. Every week without fail I will make either a basic tomato sauce or my oven roasted vegetable sauce to serve with pasta, gnocchi or as part of another easy recipe. But I really needed to try a change and look for other ways to increase the nutritional wholefood values. So I created a Roasted Butternut Squash and Tomato Pasta Sauce.
Loaded with wholesome flavours, this pasta sauce transforms wholesome ingredients into a delightfully tasty yet simple sauce perfect for picky eaters. Cook up a batch, and let the delicious sauce perfection speak for itself. Your taste buds and the whole family will thank you for introducing them to this savoury masterpiece.
In this article, we’ll explore the nutritional perks, the importance of incorporating whole foods, and how this sauce can support managing diabetes.
Discover the Perfect Marriage – Butternut Squash and Tomato in Pasta Sauce
Dive into the exquisite blend of sweet butternut squash and tangy tomatoes that adds a burst of flavour and extra nutrition to your pasta dishes. These two ingredients create a harmonious symphony that your taste buds will thank you for.
Butternut squash, known for its distinctive bell-like shape and vibrant orange hue is an incredibly versatile vegetable that boasts a sweet and nutty flavor.
Rich in fibre and essential nutrients, butternut squash is a good source of vitamin A, providing a significant portion of the recommended daily intake in just one serving. Additionally, it offers antioxidants like beta-carotene that can support your overall health
The flesh of butternut squash is firm and smooth, with a creamy texture when cooked. It is an incredibly versatile ingredient as it can be roasted, sautéed, pureed, or used in soups, stews, and casseroles.
But my favourite way to enjoy it has to be roasted as it brings out the rich creaminess whilst slightly caramelising it too. Here are some other Roasted butternut squash recipes to try
Tinned tomatoes, often referred to as canned tomatoes, are a pantry staple. These tomatoes are harvested at their peak ripeness and then quickly processed and sealed in a can to preserve their freshness and flavour.
In addition to convenience, tinned tomatoes are celebrated for their rich taste and nutritional value. They serve as a key ingredient in countless recipes, from pasta sauces and soups to stews and casseroles. The canning process retains the tomatoes’ natural goodness, providing a source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Beyond the Jar – Elevate Your Pasta with Whole Food Goodness
This tomato pasta sauce is not only gluten free but suitable for vegans. The addition of roasted butternut squash transforms this sauce into a nutritional powerhouse, helping to ensure more fibre, protein and essential vitamins and minerals are included. The incorporation of more whole foods not only enhances the flavours in this sauce but also provides an extra creaminess.
Transitioning to a whole food diet goes beyond just a sauce upgrade. It’s a lifestyle choice that promotes overall well-being. And for those navigating living with diabetes, a wholefood diet can be a game-changer. The balanced mix of complex carbohydrates, fibre, and essential nutrients helps regulate blood sugar levels, aid digestion and help to maintain a healthy weight. To read more about the benefits of a whole food diet and diabetes management read my article below:
Explore the potential benefits associated with eating more whole foods, and learn tips on how you can incorporate more whole foods into your diet.
Ingredients for Butternut Squash and Tomato Pasta Sauce
- Rich in fibre, antioxidants and essential nutrients
- Full of Vitamins and antioxidants, in particular, lycopene
Onion & Garlic
- Essential flavour enhancers
Rosemary & Thyme
- A tasty combination that goes very well with Butternut Squash
- I used chopped frozen herbs for convenience
How to cook Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce with Tomatoes
Start by preparing the butternut squash and cutting it into small pieces for roasting. Here are my tips to easily do this:
Tips for Preparing Butternut Squash
I’ll confess, that I often take the shortcut of using pre-prepared butternut squash slices from Sainsbury’s, especially when time is of the essence during the week.
However, if you decide to use a whole butternut squash, here’s a simple method for preparation:
- Begin by placing the butternut squash in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. This step helps soften the squash, making it easier to peel and cut.
- Once microwaved, use a sharp knife to cut off the top of the squash. Then, holding the base securely, carefully cut the squash in half.
- Peel the squash using a peeler, or if the skin proves to be tough, opt for a paring knife to remove it entirely.
- Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Tip – Save the seeds if you plan on roasting them for a delightful snack later.
- Finally, using a large knife, cut the squash into convenient chunks for your recipe.
Preheat your oven to 200c / 180 c fan line a sheet pan with parchment paper and arrange your cut butternut squash as a single layer.
Pop the tray into the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes turning the squash halfway through
Make the Tomato Sauce – On a medium-low heat gently sautee your chopped onion and garlic in the pan with a little olive oil until golden brown. This should take 5-7 minutes
Add the tinned tomatoes to the pan on a medium heat. Add a 1/4 of a can with cold water and swirl around to clean off all the remaining tomato juices. Pour this into the second can and swirl around again. Add the water to the pan and stir well.
Add your thyme and rosemary to the sauce and then season well with salt and black pepper to our taste. Mix well and when starting to bubble turn the heat down and leave the sauce to simmer until your butternut squash pieces are roasted.
Remove the butternut squash from the oven and carefully add it to your tomato sauce
Remove the sauce from the heat and using a food processor or stick blender in the pan, blitz your sauce into a smooth sauce.
Check the seasoning and serve immediately
This deliciously versatile sauce can be batched cooked and stored in airtight containers making it a great meal prep recipe.
Here are a few suggestions for serving this butternut squash and tomato sauce:
Blood Sugar Friendly Pasta Shapes: Opt for heartier pasta shapes that are kinder on blood glucose like Brown Rice Penne or Lentil pasta. Not only are these great gluten free options, but they are also more nutritious and we have found a lot gentler on blood glucose. These switches help to make a bowl of pasta for dinner an easier task to manage with type 1 diabetes!
TIP – Follow the pasta package directions, however, the cooked pasta should be al dente otherwise it can become very mushy when the sauce is added. So try the pasta before the total cooking time is up.
Classic Spaghetti: Serve the sauce on top of a bed of cooked al dente wholewheat or brown rice spaghetti for a simple and comforting meal. Top it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (or vegan equivalent).
Vegetable Spiralized Noodles: For a lower and carb free option, try serving the sauce over spiralised courgettes (zucchini) or sweet potato noodles. It’s a great way to incorporate more veggies into your meal.
Grilled Chicken or Fish: Add a protein element to your dish by topping it with grilled chicken or shrimp. The creamy butternut squash sauce complements the grilled flavours beautifully.
Layered Lasagna: Use the sauce as one of the layers in a vegetarian lasagna. Alternate it with sheets of pasta, ricotta cheese, and spinach for a hearty and flavorful dish.
Flatbread or Pizza Sauce: Spread the sauce over flatbread or pizza dough, add your favourite cheese and toppings, and bake for a healthier and delicious pizza variation.
If you liked this, then take a look at these other delicious and nutritious recipes that are blood sugar-friendly and beneficial for diabetes management
Recipe Variations to try
- Creamy Sauce – To make the sauce extra creamy then add a few tablespoons of coconut cream. It adds a rich and velvety texture while keeping the dish plant-based. (For non-vegans you could add Greek yoghurt instead)
- Fresh Herbs – Play around with the herbs used in the sauce, from basil, coriander and oregano to find your perfect mix
- Spicy Kick – Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or diced chilli peppers to the sauce for a spicy kick. This variation adds a nice contrast to the sweetness of butternut squash.
- White Bean Boost: For added plant protein and texture, mix in a tin of white beans to the sauce before blitzing. They not only enhance the nutritional profile but also contribute a creamy consistency.
- Roasted Garlic Intensity: Roast the garlic cloves with the butternut squash before adding them to the sauce for a deeper, caramelized flavour. This enhances the overall richness of the dish.
Feel free to mix and match these suggestions to suit your taste preferences and create a personalized Butternut Squash and Tomato Pasta Sauce experience.
For individuals managing diabetes, this Butternut Squash and Tomato Pasta Sauce offers a flavorful and health-conscious choice. It’s a diabetic carb count free sauce and the butternut squash is a low-glycemic vegetable, which also provides essential nutrients without causing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels
The combination of fibre-rich ingredients and mindful choices in this sauce aligns well with a balanced approach to managing diabetes while savouring delicious, satisfying meals.