This was a whole new taste for me, have never tried anything like it. I found inspiration from another recipe but their one involved using a blender, so I went freestyle and added new ingredients too. I do this often, see a recipe and change it around. I am yet to ruin a meal doing this, and fingers crossed I keep up this good streak!
It amazes me as well how much vegetables can seriously substitute for any kind of meat, I always thought before that without meat I would have a very small dish but the butternut squash and cannellini beans, amongst other ingredients for taste, smooshed together made such a thick sauce/paste that completely thickened out the meal. I am almost 100% sure this was the first time I tried butternut (unless I have forgotten but I really did not recognise this taste). Would I eat this again? Yeeeeees. I made this for just me, but it made enough for two meals.
The first thing I did was peel and cut the butternut squash which I did have to Google because its skin was very thick, and I had a terrible peeler so I was super confused if I was doing it right. But I persisted, despite hitting my hand on the chopping board numerous times when the weak peeler slipped. After that I cut them into little squares like in the photo above. Next, I cut up the garlic, onions and sage. The sage was cut into the same size as you’d find from a seasoning bottle – I decided to get sage leaves because I was in the mood for a lot of flavour.
I had to Google how to cook butternut too and turns out one of the many ways is just like boiling potatoes – so I placed the squares into boiling water and allowed them to get soft for around 20 minutes. Whilst this occurred, I placed the sage into a frying pan filled with cooking oil until they shrunk and got darker. Into this same pan now went the onion and garlic which sizzled into softer, tasty pieces. Multitasking is your friend, because whilst these are both going on the cannellini beans are cooking in the microwave. Around 2 – 3 minutes with the liquid the beans came in from the tin, until they too are very soft. I poured them into a bowl and placed a small plate on top whilst they microwaved to keep the steam in.
I mixed a vegetable stock cube with boiling water and poured into in the frying pan – not enough to drown the ingredients though, perhaps half as we need the rest for later! For extra taste I sprinkled some chilli flakes into the mix – not too much. But enough to give it a little kick. Once the butternut was soft, I added them to the frying pan along with the beans and smooshed them both into complete squashedness. Giving it a mix together with the ingredients already in the pan, slowly adding more of the vegetable stock water as I mixed. I still didn’t use all of the vegetable stock water, just enough to make it a good texture that can be mixed with pasta later.
Whilst all those flavours sizzled on a low heat, I cooked the tagliatelle pasta, which once cooked I also mixed into the frying pan. Et voila, all done! I would say this took me a good hour and a half but that’s because half hour was spent peeling the butternut. Moral, get a good peeler! I don’t mind dinners that take time to cook because I was able to watch one and a half episodes of Game of Thrones. My friend gave me all 7 seasons, so I have a lot of catching up to do.