Teresa Stebbins, who sent in this recipe, thinks of it as imitation macaroni and cheese. But that is doing it a disservice. At a diner, mac-and-cheese goes for a few bucks. But this same recipe, at a fancier restaurant, could easily bring $15. So which is it — mac-and-cheese or butternut sage rotini?
Butternut Sage Rotini
1 butternut squash
1 pound rotini or pasta of your choice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 sprig fresh sage or ½ teaspoon dried
1½ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Peel squash and cut it into cubes. Cook pasta according to directions on package, drain — reserving 1 cup liquid — and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add sage and cook for 2 minutes. Add the squash, 1½ cups water, salt, and pepper. Cook until squash is tender and water is reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove sage. Puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender; add reserved pasta liquid, if needed.
Combine sauce with cooked pasta, and serve.
— Teresa Stebbins