Creamy butternut squash pasta that skips the dairy is served with salmon and greens. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Creamy butternut squash pasta that skips the dairy is served with salmon and greens. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Creamy pasta that holds the cream

This butternut squash sauce will make you forget it’s low fat and plant based

There is very little I love more than a huge pile of creamy, cheesy pasta.

Carbs on carbs seasoned with fat and salt is a one-way ticket to happy town for me, but my stomach pays the price. I often regret my dairy indulgence within hours.

I’ve tried using oil-based substitutes, but they never create a sauce with the consistency I crave, and often end up as a disappointing oil slick on a plate.

Tomato-based sauces are delicious, but they don’t make that thick sauce that goes so well with vinegary salad and fish.

Nut-based sauces are just as satisfying as the cheese-based ones, and for good reason, because they can easily pack in a similar amount of calories and fat as the traditional sauce they replicate, and are much more expensive than cheese and cream.

I have concluded that the best way to feed my sticky pasta needs is to find a plant-based substitute that isn’t trying to be something it’s not.

This creamy butternut squash sauce is thick and luxurious, and nutritional yeast gives it a nutty flavor that will make you forget that it is low fat and plant based. I paired my pasta with salmon and sauteed kale with lemon.


1 small butternut squash, about 2 cups diced

½ large yellow onion

6 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 cup cherry tomatoes

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound pasta — spaghetti, fettuccine and linguine are excellent options, but basically any pasta will do


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel your squash and cut into ½-inch cubes, toss in 1 teaspoon olive oil, and roast for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set aside. The squash may not be completely soft yet, that’s expected.

Slice your onion into ¼-inch pieces and toss in olive oil with the tomatoes and peeled whole garlic cloves.

Add the onion and tomatoes to the tray with your cooling squash. Season with salt and pepper.

Kick the heat on your oven up to 400 degrees.

Roast the vegetables for about 15 minutes, or until both the onion and squash are soft.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Prepare your pasta water. Be sure to salt the water before adding your dried pasta — it should taste like seawater.

Add the roasted vegetables to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Use a little of the pasta water (one teaspoon at a time) to loosen the sauce if it is too dry. The finished sauce should be smooth and creamy.

Add in your nutritional yeast and blend again for a few seconds.

Cook your pasta until almost al dente. You want to drain the pasta before it is completely cooked because it will finish cooking in the sauce.

Pour your sauce into the pasta pot and bring to a simmer.

Add your noodles to the bubbling sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until the noodles are soft and have absorbed some of the sauce.

Taste and season with extra salt and pepper, and maybe a bit of lemon juice if desired.

Garnish with parsley.

More in Life

Blueberries and lemonade can be combined to create a base for a number of drinks. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Adventures in tasting

A young chef tries out blueberry lemonade

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: A Christmas artist and a cyber safari

My attempts at adornment layouts come across as being colorfully sculptured landfills

Minister’s Message: Keep your faith focused on Jesus

Don’t let fear make you slip from faith

Hip-Hop students practice their routines for Forever Christmas on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, at Forever Dance in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Forever Dance rings in the holidays with variety show

The show serves as a fun holiday tradition and an opportunity to get on stage early in the season

Image courtesy 20th Century 
Ralph Fiennes is Chef Julien Slowik and Anya Taylor-Joy is Margot in “The Menu”
On the Screen: ‘The Menu’ serves up fun twists and earnest commentary

I was plenty interested in the film I saw in the trailers, but the one I saw at the theater was so much more

Golden Soup mixes cauliflower, onions and apples and can be made in one pot. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Golden soup offers a healthy reprieve after holiday indulgence

On the off days between the trips and celebrations I find it necessary to eat strategically

Photo courtesy of the National Archives 
This photo and information from a “prison book” at San Quentin state prison in California shows Arthur Vernon Watson when he entered the prison at age 23.
Justice wasn’t elementary, Watson, Part 2

Well before he shot and killed a man in Soldotna in 1961, Arthur Vernon Watson was considered trouble

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Thanksgiving

We at least have a good idea of what our political future looks like.

Most Read