Sometimes when I awaken in the night, unless there is a very good dream I wish to slip back into, I utilize those waking moments to plan for the next day. The idea for this dish was conceived during one such middle of the night musing.
The other day this butternut squash pasta sauce caught my eye. The ingredients seemed healthy enough and I purchased a couple of jars. I don’t consider all prepared/processed foods necessarily unacceptable, to be shunned indiscriminately. If processed foods help save preparation time yet reasonably contribute to a healthy diet they are alright with me. I process food in my kitchen every day.
I envisioned using this sauce in ways other than with pasta but for today’s dish it was used with pasta shells. I “dry fitted” uncooked shells to avoid cooking way more than needed.
While the pasta shells were cooking I poured the butternut squash sauce into the baking dish and seasoned it with cumin powder and red chili powder (Kashmiri/Deggi Mirch).
For filling the cooked pasta shells I put together a few things I might normally use in a black bean salad:
- black beans
- sweet onion
- red bell pepper
- Tex Mex Chipotle seasoning
The filled shells were arranged in the baking dish on top of the butternut sauce.
I roasted a couple of poblano peppers and blended them with pistachios into a sauce, using almond milk to get the right consistency. Since the poblano peppers were very mild I seasoned the sauce with jalapeño powder. The pistachios were already roasted and salted so not much additional salt was needed.
I poured the poblano/pistachio sauce over the shells and baked the dish under a lid until thoroughly heated.
I didn’t think the poblano sauce looked very attractive after drying out in the baking process so I spooned fresh sauce over it.
This was a very tasty dish with just a slight amount of warmth from the Kashmiri red chili powder.