This fall pasta is filled with roasted butternut squash and broccoli rabe, tossed in a creamy almond butter sauce and topped with a buttery garlic cracker crumble.
My parents are moving this week. After 25+ years in the house I (mostly) grew up in, they’ve finally come to their senses that 3,500 square feet and taxes that could technically be an entire years salary for someone making minimum wage are both just a tad bit ridiculous.
We’ve only been trying to tell them this for years.
*This post is sponsored by Crunchmaster.
It hasn’t quite hit me yet what it will be like to not have them 25 minutes away and have all the familiar feelings and memories of “home” flood in as I walk inside the house for a visit.
Of course, most of those memories trace back to food (and boy shenanigans) for me. From holiday dinners (we seemed to always host the holidays) to just the usual weeknight dinner, most of the memories of that house can be traced back to the kitchen.
Weirdly enough, broccoli rabe is one of those foods that instantly stirs up family memories (like this sweet and spicy broccoli rabe). As a kid, I was sort of disgusted by this bitter tasting, always garlicky green whose presence at any family holiday was as guaranteed as grandpa’s velour tracksuit. But, as time went on and tastebuds evolved, I learned to like it, when prepared right at least.
Mushy broccoli rabe is gag worthy.
In all my broccoli rabe eating years, however, I’ve never once roasted it. Why? I truthfully have no idea. As someone who roasts vegetables, including regular broccoli just about every day of the week, this makes zero sense now that I think about it.
But when this fall pasta came to mind and I knew I wanted to roast the butternut squash, it finally dawned on me to do the same with the broccoli rabe.
The outcome was perfect, even better than my family’s go-to olive oil and garlic sauté. The stems were still al dente while the leaves and florets had that perfect roasted char to them to go along with the butternut squash.
The broccoli rabe is where this fall pasta recipe ends any and all resemblance to a family dinner though. With a creamy almond butter sauce inspired by the classic Asian peanut sauce, it’s about as far off as Kielbasa would’ve been on my Italian family’s dinner table.
One of my favorite things about peanut sauce noodles is the crunch you get from the chopped nuts that usually garnish the dish. It’s that perfect balance of creamy and crunchy and I knew I wanted to replicate that in this fall pasta.
Instead of nuts, I decided to use Crunchmaster multi-seed crackers. Made with brown rice and things like sesame seeds, quinoa seeds, flax seeds and even wheat-free tamari, they’re gluten-free, vegan and 100% whole grain. I crushed them up, sautéd them in butter and garlic and the result was the perfect crunchy and savory complement to this creamy almond butter fall pasta.
Here’s to new family dinners and new memories.
For the pasta
For the almond butter sauce