Butternut Squash Pizza

When Nick and I first started dating he lived in a suburb just outside of the city. There weren’t a lot of vegan options nearby, so we’d normally cook food at his apartment. When we did go out we would go to a local brewery called Mindful Brewing. They also didn’t have a lot of vegan options, but they used to have this one butternut squash pizza that was phenomenal. It had chickpeas, red onions, and a balsamic reduction. We’ve attempted to recreate this pizza several times over the past three years. It may not be exactly the same, but it’s really good.

I’m not sure exactly what they put in the butternut squash puree to flavor it, but we kept ours pretty simple. We’ve tried cooking the sauce down before applying it to the pizza as well as applying it uncooked. I would definitely recommend taking a few minutes to cook it down with some maple syrup and spices. It adds a lot of flavor. The water content is a bit too high if you don’t cook it down, and it makes the crust a little too soft for my taste. It’s been a while since I’ve had the pizza at Mindful, but I’m pretty sure it had cilantro on top. We used parsley instead, because we simply don’t like cilantro. I can tolerate it as a garnish, but generally prefer to sub something else in. Feel free to use either ingredient if you are a cilantro lover.

This pizza calls for a hearty, thick crust. I don’t recommend buying a pre-baked pizza shell from the super market. If you don’t want to make your own pizza dough you can buy balls of pizza dough at some supermarkets. We recommend the dough from Trader Joe’s. You can also find dough at a number of regional supermarkets. If you do want to make your own we have a great recipe that we’ve been using for a few years.


Butternut Squash Pizza

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Squash Puree Ingredients

  • one butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 16oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Squash Puree Directions

  1. Peel and break down squash. Remove the seeds and strings, and chop into small, equal pieces. If you purchased prepared squash you can skip this step.
  2. Boil squash in a large stock pot full of water for thirty minutes, or until fork tender.
  3. Drain, rinse with cold water, and place into an ice bath to halt the cooking process. Drain again, and put the squash into a food processor.
  4. Blend squash until it is a smooth puree. One large squash will make enough puree for about four pizzas. Add about a cup and a half to a sauce pot, and store the rest in the fridge or freezer to use in other dishes.
  5. Add maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to the squash puree in the sauce pot. Cook down for about ten to fifteen minutes.
  6. Add sauce to the top of the pizza crust once the crust has been pre-baked.

Balsamic Reduction Directions

  1. In a small sauce pot combine balsamic vinegar with maple syrup.
  2. Cook on medium heat for about fifteen minutes, or the liquid has reduced to half of its original quantity. Whisk frequently to prevent burning.
  3. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool while you assemble the rest of the pizza.

Topping Directions

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas, and place them in a bowl.
  2. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Top pizza with desired amount of chickpeas.
  4. Slice onion into thin slices, and top the pizza with them.
  5. Chop parsley, but wait to add it to the pizza until the end.
  6. Bake pizza for about 25 minutes. When the pizza looks to be about done top it with the parsley, and drizzle some of the balsamic reduction on top. Bake for an additional 2 minutes.

Butternut Squash Curry

It’s been a truly dreary, rainy week here in Pittsburgh, and I’ve found myself craving hearty, filling food. I made this recipe combining two of the most craveable fall favorites; curry, and squash. Although this curry is far from a one pot meal, it is relatively easy to make. All you need is some curry paste, coconut milk, fresh produce, and an empty stomach. It is unbelievably filling. I don’t know how I ate as much as I did, or whether I should feel impressed with myself or ashamed. That being said, this curry makes a lot of servings that you can set aside and freeze for the next time you’re craving it on a rainy day.

While you can make your own curry paste we used a store bought one for this recipe. Just be sure to check the label. Some curry pastes contain fish sauce, so it’s worth a quick once over. You can top your curry with anything you want, but I happened across these adorable little beech mushrooms at the food co-op and knew that I had to use them. They honestly ended up being one of my favorite parts of the curry. Trust me, that’s saying a lot, because I loved every part of the curry. The beech mushrooms just ended up being little salty flavor bombs, almost akin to bacon. It cut through the sweet, spicy, and fatty flavors of the curry giving it an additional dimension that was just perfect. I highly recommend using the beech mushrooms, or any kind of small mushrooms that you can find to marinate as directed in the recipe.

We served our curry bowls with noodles as a base, but it’s also good with rice. Though I’m sure it’s far from traditional you could try it with other grains like farro, or quinoa if you wanted. Even serving it alone without any grains should be fine. It’s super dense and starchy with both the squash and the Japanese sweet potato.


Butternut Squash Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegan red curry paste
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 17 oz coconut milk (two standard sized cans)
  • 1 Japanese sweet potato
  • 8 oz KaMe Ramen Noodles (you can sub any vegan noodles, or rice)
  • 2 jalapeños, cut into rings
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon grass, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp green onion/scallion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 3 limes
  • 4oz beech mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 6 tbsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Clean and prepare all produce items. Peel and cube sweet potatoes, cut jalapeños into rings, grate ginger, mince garlic, finely chop lemon grass and scallions, and cut tofu into pieces. We cut them into large triangles for aesthetic, but you can cut them however you’d like. If you have a whole butternut squash you’ll need to peel it, cut it down, de-seed it, and boil it for about 30 minutes before adding it to a food processor to puree it. It sounds like a lot of work, but you get a lot of additional squash to freeze and use for other recipes. If you don’t want to do all of that you can purchase squash puree.
  2. In a large stock pot add a few tablespoons of sesame oil. Once the oil is hot add garlic, lemongrass, ginger, scallions, and some of the jalapeño rings. Set aside a few rings for garnish.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of the curry paste to the pot to toast it, and then add in the butternut squash puree. Stir the two until they are well integrated.
  4. Add the juice of one lime, followed by the coconut milk.
  5. Put the sweet potato cubes in the pot, so they have plenty of time to cook until they are fork tender. Bring curry to a simmer for at least an hour. Stir often.
  6. In a small mixing bowl add beech mushrooms, the juice of one lime, maple syrup, tamari, liquid smoke, and a pinch of white pepper. Stir to combine. Cook down in a separate pan with some sesame oil. Make sure they are cooked thoroughly, and then set aside. Beech mushrooms can be very bitter if they are not cooked completely.
  7. In a separate pan fry up tofu in sesame oil until it is a nice golden brown on both sides. Set aside.
  8. Bring water to a boil in a separate pot, and cook noodles, or rice, according to package instructions. If you are cooking noodles be sure to run them under cold water after they become al dente, so that they don’t over cook. In this recipe we use the noodles or rice as a bed for the curry. The curry should be hot enough after more than an hour of simmering to heat them back up.
  9. While you’re waiting for your curry to finish simmering cut down the limes into wedges for garnish, and to squeeze directly on top of the curry bowl.
  10. After about 90 minutes of simmering check your potatoes to see if they are fork tender. They should be very soft at this point. If they are done remove the curry from heat, and serve.
  11. To serve add noodles or rice to a bowl, top with curry followed by tofu, beech mushrooms, jalapeños, and some green onion. Add a squirt of lime juice to the bowl for added flavor.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Fresh fall produce is my favorite of all seasonal food. It’s hearty and comforting, and we’re all about comfort food here at The More You Dough. While I’ve spent plenty of time already this fall tinkering in the kitchen creating some great pumpkin recipes today is all about pumpkin’s underrated cousin, the butternut squash. Butternut squash has a delicate, sweet squash flavor similar to pumpkin, but is much easier to break down if you’re making from scratch cooking.

There’s something really special and meditative about from scratch cooking that I really appreciate. I like knowing that I hand crafted just about every component of the meal. You won’t find me milling my own flour in the kitchen, or anything like that, but I do cook from scratch quite often. I like using fresh produce as much as I can while it’s in season as opposed to something that comes out of a can I can buy any time of the year. You can too for this recipe, but you’re by no means obligated to. I bought a whole butternut squash, butchered it, boiled it, cooled it, and pureed it. This sounds intensive, but it really doesn’t take all that long. It also makes plenty of puree to save for later in other great fall recipes like our butternut squash pizza that we’ll be sharing a recipe for soon. If that sounds like a bit too much work for you try checking your supermarket for butternut squash puree. Most stores seem to carry it in the baby food aisle.

When I think of hearty dishes it doesn’t get much heartier than gnocchi. Gnocchi is one of the best pastas to make from scratch if you’re just starting to learn, because it’s super easy to make. All you have to do is knead some dough, roll it out, chop it up, and boil it for a few minutes. You can serve your gnocchi as just pillowy little chunks of dough, or add the classic grooves to the dough. Adding the grooves can be a little tricky at first, but I recommend it. They trap a lot of great flavor from the sauce. To see how to make them check out the video below.

We pan seared our gnocchi with some Field Roast vegan sausage to give it an extra flavor, and textural element. Searing it is my preferred method of preparation, but it’s not absolutely necessary as the gnocchi are perfectly ready to eat once you boil them. This gnocchi goes great paired with the white wine cream sauce we included in the recipe. You can use whatever sauce you’d like for the pasta. A lighter colored sauce seems to lend better to this dish as it allows the flavor of the squash to shine instead of competing with it like a red sauce would.


Butternut Squash Gnocchi

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • one pinch all spice
  • one pinch nutmeg
  • one pinch black pepper

White Wine Cream Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1/4 cup vegan white wine
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

Gnocchi Directions

  1. Break down the butternut squash. Start by peeling it, cut off the ends, slice it in half, and scoop out the seeds. Cut it into chunks that are similar in size so they cook evenly.
  2. Boil the butternut squash for 25 minutes or until it is fork tender. Prepare an ice bath in a large mixing bowl, and place cooked squash in this to cool and halt the cooking process. Drain when cooled.
  3. Place cooled squash in the food processor, and blend into a puree. If you purchased squash puree you can skip steps 1-3.
  4. Measure out one cup of the squash puree and place it in a large mixing bowl. Package up the rest of your squash puree to use for future recipes. I put mine in the freezer.
  5. Add in the all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Stir together to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.
  6. Slowly start adding the flour chopping it in with a spoon. Depending on the moisture content of the squash puree you may use a little less or a little more than 2 1/2 cups of flour. Stir until it forms a shaggy dough.
  7. Continue to slowly add flour, and knead with your hands until the dough stops feeling gummy and sticky. It should bounce back nicely if you poke it.
  8. Separate the dough into manageable pieces, I separated mine into fourths, and roll them out into long tubes on a floured surface. I like to think this step is pretty similar to making play-doh snakes as a kid. Your snakes should be about 1″-1 1/2″ in diameter. It can be difficult at first, but try to keep them as consistent as possible.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut the tubes of dough into small pieces. They should look like little tiny gnocchi pillows that are about 1″-1 1/2″ wide.
  10. You can stop here, or you can add grooves into your gnocchi. I prefer the grooves, because they hold more of the sauce on the pasta. To do this, find a fork and turn it tines down on a plate. Make sure the fork, work surface, and gnocchi are all well floured. Press the end of a gnocchi down against the base of the tines with your thumb, and flick it down the length of the tines. This can be pretty tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few (or if your me a few dozen) gnocchi. I made a short video showing the technique in this post.
  11. Boil your gnocchi for 2-4 minutes. Make sure the pot is really at a rolling boil when you put the gnocchi in. They’ll bring the water temperature down a lot, so you want to ensure that they still cook quickly and evenly throughout. You can boil half of them at a time to avoid a drastic temperature change. They should float when they’re done. If they’re floating before your timer goes off remove them.
  12. Immediately place the boiled gnocchi in an ice bath, or under cold running water to halt the cooking process. I use an ice bath to do this. The quicker the better. Nobody wants mushy pasta especially when you spent so much time preparing it.
  13. While you can eat gnocchi without searing them, I always choose to pan fry them. It imparts a great flavor on them, and allows you to cook up your favorite vegetables in the same pan. I recommend broccoli, or brussels sprouts. We cooked ours up with some field roast vegan sausage, because we didn’t have a lot of veggies in the fridge at the time. Keep some white wine on hand to deglaze the pan while you sear them. If you don’t deglaze they’ll get stuck to the pan and tear. They only take about five minutes to fry up, so wait until your sauce starts reducing to put them on.

White Wine Cream Sauce Directions

  1. Measure out all of the ingredients before hand. You have to work quickly to keep the roux from burning and the cream from separating, so you want to be able to instantaneously add whatever you need.
  2. In a sauce pot on low heat add the 1/4 cup vegan butter.
  3. Add in the minced shallot and garlic, and the red chili flakes once the butter melts down.
  4. Allow the butter to darken in color, and quickly whisk in the flour.
  5. Keep whisking and quickly add the oat milk, followed by the white whine and splash of lemon juice.
  6. Add all other seasonings.
  7. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce down. Whisk frequently to prevent burning.
  8. Sauce should be a creamy texture that flows freely, but is thick enough to stick to your pasta. Remove from heat when finished.
  9. You can add some of the sauce to the gnocchi while they’re finishing cooking to impart more flavor. This is optional.
  10. Serve on a plate or in a bowl, and finish with fresh herbs if you’d like.