Roasted butternut squash recipe | Winter dinner recipes

Nik Sharma’s roasted butternut squash recipe, delicious sauce, crispy leeks + farfalle

by | Nov 9, 2023


Serves 4

  • 455g butternut squash, peeled and seeded, diced into cubes
  • 60ml + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 480ml + 1 tbsp water
  • 70g unsalted raw cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp white or yellow miso
  • 455g farfalle
  • 2 medium leeks
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, Aleppo, Maras, or Urfa
  • 4 large fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced

Nik Sharma’s latest book, Veg-Table is an indispensable and empowering guide to cooking with vegetables, with many winter recipes that are vegetarian focused. Nik has a biologists background and that comes through in his clever recipes, a gentle dose of science mingled with kitchen tips to make our time in the kitchen easier. We’re happy to be able to share with you this seasonal beauty from the book, with many more delicious winter dinner recipes. 

From Nik – ‘Farfalle is my favorite pasta shape, quite possibly because it’s one of the most playful ones. So there was no way I’d leave it out of this book. This butternut squash pasta sauce is remarkably easy to put together and produces superior results. But, best of all, it takes less than an.hour to prepare, making it a great meal for a busy weekday. Roast, blend, and season the butternut squash to make the sauce, and top the pasta with plenty of crispy leeks.’


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together 455g peeled and seeded butternut squash, diced into cubes, and 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Spread in a single layer and roast until completely tender and lightly caramelized, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a medium saucepan.
  3. To the saucepan, add 480ml water; 70g unsalted raw cashews; 2 garlic cloves, smashed; ½ tsp ground turmeric; ½ tsp ground cayenne; ½ tsp baking soda; and ½ tsp ground nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add 3 Tbsp white or yellow miso and, using caution, carefully blend the hot liquid until silky smooth. Keep the top of the blender covered with a dish towel to help keep the sauce warm. While the squash and cashew mixture is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 455g farfalle to al dente, per the package instructions. Reserve 240 ml of the pasta water, then drain the cooked pasta and transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, warm 60ml extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and add 2 medium leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced, and ½ tsp fine sea salt. Sauté until lightly golden brown and starting to crisp, 10 to 20 minutes (this might take longer and, just like browning onions and life, is unpredictable when it comes to time). If they start to burn, add 1 Tbsp water and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add 2 Tbsp raw unsalted pumpkin seeds and 1 tsp red pepper flakes such as Aleppo, Maras, or Urfa. Sauté until the seeds start to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste, and season with fine sea salt.
  6. When ready to serve, fold the pasta into the sauce, adding some of the reserved pasta water, 2.Tbsp at a time, to make the sauce glossy (the sauce will become drier as the pasta sits). Top with the crispy leeks and pumpkin seeds. Garnish with 4 large fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced. Enjoy this delicious butternut squash dinner recipe to keep you warm in the winter months. 

Huge thanks to Nik and his publishers at Chronicle Books for sharing. You can get his new book here Veg-Table: Recipes, Techniques, and Plant Science for Big-Flavored, Vegetable-Focused Meals.

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