Autumnal Pasta Sauce with Sage Leaves

I'm loving all the different squash I can find at my local farmer's markets and stores. I've been experimenting with delicata, acorn, kabocha, carnival and turk's turban to make different recipes for roasting, pureeing and baking these seasonal finds. I was hunting for some inspiration at a local store and saw a pasta sauce using butternut squash and it got my creative wheels turning. Why not a seasonal sauce with a few harvest favorites? So, I gathered the rest of the roma tomatoes from my garden, frozen pumpkin puree I roasted from last year's pumpkins, fresh butternut squash and started creating in the kitchen. What came together was a delectable sauce that I could almost bathe in. But I thiought better of that and saved it for some meatballs made from some local pastured pork and a bit of local ground beef. Typically, you see pork meatballs for asian dishes, but the combination of beef and pork and herbs in these meatballs make a great accompaniment to this sauce.Even if you use another pasta with this recipe, the zucchini noodles add another layer of flavor. Vegetarian or vegan? Just leave out the meatballs and I have included non-dairy options. And just for you all, I tested both recipes. Yes, it was a HUGE sacrifice. ;) Hope you enjoy this creamy, dreamy dish!

Autumnal Pasta Sauce

from the kitchen of Heather Page, Healthy Decadence

Sauce:

4 c. fresh diced tomatoes

3 c. butternut squash, roasted, seeded and diced into 2” pieces

2 c. roasted pumpkin puree

2 medium carrots

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 t real salt

1/2 t black pepper

1/2 t. sage

3/4 t. thyme

1 t. rosemary

3 T. olive oil or butter

1/2 c. filtered water

1 c. full fat coconut milk or half and half

Zoodles:

2 - 3 medium zucchini, spiraled

Meatballs:

1 lb. pork sausage

1/2 lb. ground beef

1 t. garlic powder

1/2 t. sage

1/4 t. marjoram

1/4 t. rosemary

1/2 t. thyme

1/4 t. Salt

1/4 t. black pepper

1 egg

1 T. cassava or coconut flour

Sage leaves in butter (optional)

  1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute. Stir in tomatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, herbs, salt and pepper.

  2. Let simmer on medium low for 30 minutes until butternut squash is soft.

  3. Remove from heat and add half and half or coconut milk.

  4. Cool slightly and purée in blender to preferred consistency.

  5. While cooling, heat a pan of boiling water with salt. Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes.

  6. In a bowl. combine pork sausage, ground beef, garlic, sage, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix together and shape into 1 1/2” meatballs. Will make about 24- 32 depending on size. Place on a lined sheet pan.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake meatballs for 10 minutes, then turn over. Bake another 10 minutes and check.

  7. Add to the sauce if preference. Let meatballs cook a few minutes until done.

  8. To saute sage leaves, heat a pan with 2-3 T salted organic butter at medium heat melted and a little bubbly. Drop whole sage leaves in and let cook until almost crispy. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towels.

  9. Serve with zucchini noodles as shown above, or with your favorite pasta. Top with browned sage leaves.

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