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Pureed butternut squash gives a creamy consistency to dishes without using any dairy. This dish is both sweet and savory. If you're not vegan, the earthy saltiness of a bit of cheese, such as a few Parmesan shavings or some crumbled Gorgonzola, complements this dish well.
Serves 4

• 1 medium butternut squash
• 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti (or other long, thin pasta of your choice)
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling pan
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• Several fresh sage leaves, chopped
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Water or vegetable stock, as needed
• 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the squash in half and scoop out its seeds and strings. Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil, rubbing some on the cut sides of the squash. Place the squash cut-side down on the sheet. Bake the squash until it's tender and the cut side is browned, usually between 45 minutes and an hour.

While the squash is cooling a bit, bring enough water to a boil to cook the pasta according to package directions.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over a medium-high flame. Cook the garlic for a minute or so, until it's very lightly browned.

Scoop out the flesh of the squash into the bowl of a food processor or, if you prefer an immersion blender, into a bowl. Add the garlic, sage, and pepper flakes. Puree. Use water or stock to adjust consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta.

While it boils, cook the hazelnuts in a dry pan over medium-high heat until fragrant.

Drain the pasta and toss it with the squash mixture. To serve, sprinkle with hazelnuts.


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