Jack-o’-lantern Pasta

butterfly Serves: 6-8

Written By Eydie Desser


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We wanted to create an adorable Halloween dinner to surprise and delight your kids. This jack-o’-lantern face does the trick to treat your kids, no carving necessary!  The bright orange butternut squash noodles and sauce, black bean eyes and nose, and cherry tomato mouth makes for a deliciously fun holiday, or anytime, meal.  We top off the pumpkin with an asparagus tips stem.


For the Face:
  • 1 (3-1/2 pound) butternut squash, skinned to spiralize, or 40 ounce store bought
  • 1 (3-½ pound) butternut squash, skinned and diced to ½-inch pieces (4-cups)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-1/2 cups house vegetable broth, or store bought, (reserving ½ cup)
For the Eyes, Nose, Mouth and Stem:
  • 1 can, no salt black beans, drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches medium sized asparagus 


Preheat oven to 400℉, rack placed in the upper third of the oven

Roast the Spiralized Noodles:

Place spiralized squash on a large parchment lined sheet pan. Sprinkle some vegetable stock and black pepper over the squash. Roast for about 5 minutes, stir and roast another 2 minutes or until squash is tender.  This happens quickly, depending on your oven, so check often so as not to burn the noodles. Remove noodles from the oven and reserve.

Make the Butternut Sauce:
  1. Dry sauté the vegetables: Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat for 1 or 2 minutes or until hot.  Pour in the chopped onion and stir quickly, lower heat to medium and cover.  Let cook for 2 minutes, lift cover and stir, add minced garlic and cover again, lowering heat to medium low.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, uncover and stir until the onion is translucent and just starting to brown.
  2. Add rosemary and paprika, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add in diced butternut squash and stir to combine. Pour in 4 cups of vegetable stock, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the stock has reduced by half.
  3. Pour the mixture into high speed blender, cover with the top and a towel, holding the top down, while blending.  This helps prevent the very hot liquid from spewing out.  Blend until smooth.  Add more vegetable stock to make it creamier, but still a sauce consistency, or leave it a little chunky if you prefer.
Make the Asparagus Stems:

Prepare an ice water bath. Break off tough ends of asparagus. Slice off the tips to 1-inch long pieces. Reserve the stalks for another time, or cook separately. Place the asparagus tips in a steamer basket and steam until just tender, yet still have a bit of a bite. Once cooked, Immediately place the asparagus in an ice water bath to stop the cooking, until completely cool. Drain and dry the asparagus.

Compose the jack-o’-lanterns:
  1. Rewarm the sauce and add the spiralized noodles to the pan.  Stir to thoroughly combine. With a spoon, place a mound of the noodles on each of 6-8 small plates, and pat down to form the face of the Jack-o’-lantern as shown in the picture.
  2. Place beans to form the eyes and the nose. Add sliced cherry tomatoes to make the mouth. Place the asparagus tips on top to form the stem.
butterfly Cook's Notes:

This is an excellent time to let the kids play with their food.  I’d love to see what shape their face, eyes, nose and mouth they’ll create.  Please send pictures!  Happy Halloween!!!

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