I came up with this pasta sauce as a way to get my 3 year old, Rian, to eat more vegetables. It’s completely made of vegetables and is really delicious. Butternut squash is naturally sweet so both the kids loved it. It has loads of vitamins of course, as well as fibre.
It’s really simple to make and even though the squash has to roast for a while, you can get other stuff done while it’s in the oven.
If you want to make it more filling and add extra protein to the meal, it’s lovely with some chickpeas mixed through the pasta, or you could even blend them into the sauce if you want or if your kids don’t like beans. Feel free to add any other things to flavour the sauce, herbs, spices, garlic, etc.
Spaghetti is also great for baby led weaning. You might not immediately think of it as a finger food for babies but it’s really easy for them to pick up, is soft and easy to chew and a great vehicle for a healthy sauce like this. Oran is 11 months now and he has been eating spaghetti since six months and loves it so much, as you can see from the photos!
1 butternut squash
A pinch or two of chilli flakes
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional but gives a nice flavour)
500g spaghetti (or other pasta)
Sea salt (optional) and black pepper
How it’s made:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
Peel the onion and cut in half.
Place the butternut squash halves and onion halves on a baking tray. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of chilli flakes (depending how spicy you want it) and drizzle with the olive oil.
Roast in the oven for about 40-50 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft. Turn the onion once of twice during cooking so it doesn’t burn. You can take it out before the butternut squash if it’s done first.
When the squash and onion are cooked, scoop the flesh of the squash out and put it and the onion in a large bowl with the nutritional yeast and about a ladle full of the pasta cooking water. Season with salt and pepper (I add the salt afterwards only to the adults’ portions.) Blend with a stick blender until smooth (or place in a blender jug and blend until smooth).
Cook the spaghetti when the squash is nearly done. Serve with the sauce.