butternut squash & anchovy pasta sauce

this may sound like an odd combination but this sauce turned out exactly as i’d hoped- an even, subtle saltifishiness from the anchovy that’s cut nicely from the acidity of tomatoes and the sweetness of butternut squash. i’m trying to live meat free these days, and i thought about using mushrooms, but i don’t think of anchovies and mushrooms as the most exciting pairing. the squash is a perfect addition for texture to what’s otherwise just a very flavorful sauce. try it. i served this up on roasted spaghetti squash, but it would be even heartier on any sort of pasta.

IMG_3733.JPGingredients:

one small butternut squash, skinned and diced

two small onions OR four shallots, halved and thinly sliced

three cloves garlic, crushed

a happy handful of fresh herbs (i used thyme, basil, a bit of rosemary and parsley) finely chopped

12-14 or just a small can of anchovies. finely chop these and reserve the oil for flavor if you really love that fishy fish

one large can crushed tomatoes

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, black pepper, and italian seasoning

instructions:

brown the onions in a generous pour of olive or the reserved anchovy oil. add the butternut squash and brown on medium heat, for 3 minutes or so. they should be lightly browning but not all the way cooked through.

add the can of tomato sauce, and fill it halfway with water and add that to the saucepan. add the anchovies and garlic. stir well to make sure it’s well blended and even. cover and let this simmer for ten minutes.

after ten minutes taste the sauce. you shouldn’t have to add salt because of the anchovies, but you may want to add a bit. add some water if it seems too thick, throw in the herbs, stir well again and cover for 15 more minutes. i like to let tomato sauce cook down for awhile to really absorb the flavors, so you could even leave on for a little longer. after 15 minutes, the squash are definitely cooked through though.

to cook spaghetti squash:

pre-heat oven at 400. halve the squash (vertically? does that make sense on a squash?), scoop out the seeds and rub the insides with olive oil. lay on a baking sheet “face” down and bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the squash.

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