Butternut Squash Pizza Sauce: A Delicious Twist on Classic Flavors

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine giving your traditional pizza a delightful twist with a sauce that’s both vibrant and bursting with flavor. Butternut squash pizza sauce offers a creamy, subtly sweet alternative that’ll transform your pizza into a gourmet experience. Originating from the need to spice up the usual tomato base, this sauce has gained popularity for its versatility and health benefits.

Butternut squash, with its rich, buttery texture, makes an excellent base for a pizza sauce. It pairs beautifully with ingredients like garlic, sage, and a touch of cream to create a smooth, rich spread that complements a variety of toppings. Whether you’re a fan of classic pepperoni or prefer a vegetarian feast, this sauce adapts to your taste, adding a unique twist to every slice.

Ingredients

To craft your own unique butternut squash pizza sauce, begin with these simple, wholesome ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to create the base of the sauce and the perfect pizza.

For the Butternut Squash Puree

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 3 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Pizza Sauce

  • 2 cups butternut squash puree (from above)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, adjust for heat preference)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Other Ingredients

  • 1 pre-made pizza dough or your choice of homemade pizza dough
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • Fresh arugula or spinach leaves (for garnish)
  • Extra olive oil for drizzling

Equipment Needed

To prepare your butternary squash pizza sauce, you’ll need a few essential kitchen tools. These tools not only simplify the process but also ensure that your sauce has the perfect texture and consistency. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Large Saucepan: This is essential for sautéing the ingredients and bringing out their natural flavors.
  2. Blender or Food Processor: You’ll use this to puree the butternut squash mixture into a smooth, creamy sauce.
  3. Knife and Cutting Board: You’ll need these to chop up the butternut squash and any other ingredients that require prepping.
  4. Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are key to creating a perfectly balanced sauce.
  5. Wooden Spoon: Perfect for stirring the ingredients to prevent sticking and to ensure even cooking.

Gather these tools beforehand to streamline your cooking process, allowing you to focus on crafting that delicious sauce without any interruptions.

Preparation

Ready to turn that butternut squash into a deliciously unique pizza sauce? Let’s start by roasting the squash and preparing the base ingredients.

Roasting the Butternut Squash

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven warms up, peel and dice your butternut squash into small, even cubes. This ensures they roast evenly. Place these cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Toss everything together to coat the squash well.

Roast in the preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Your squash should turn lightly golden and be fork-tender. This indicates it’s perfectly roasted and ready to be blended into your sauce.

Preparing the Base Ingredients

While the squash roasts, grab a large saucepan and heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and a finely chopped onion to the pan, sautéing until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it can introduce a bitter flavor.

Once your squash is roasted and cooled slightly, add it to a blender or food processor along with the sautéed garlic and onion. Pour in about half a cup of vegetable broth to help blend the mixture smoothly. You want the consistency of your sauce to be creamy but not too thick. If it’s too thick, add a little more broth until you reach the desired consistency.

Blend everything together until smooth, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Your buternaut squash pizza sauce is now ready to enhance any pizza with its creamy texture and sweet, nutty flavor profiles. Spoon it over your prepared pizza dough and proceed with your favorite toppings.

Cooking the Sauce

Now that your ingredients are prepped and ready, let’s cook a sauce that will bring a delightful twist to your pizza.

Blending the Ingredients

Begin by transferring the roasted butternut squash into a blender. Add the sautéed garlic and onion along with a cup of vegetable broth to help achieve a smooth consistency. Secure the lid on your blender and purée the mixture until it’s completely smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides occasionally to ensure all chunks are thoroughly blended.

Assembling the Pizza

Once your delectable butternut squash pizza sauce is ready, it’s time to put together the entire pizza.

Preparing the Pizza Dough

Begin by preheating your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (245 degrees Celsius). This high temperature is crucial for achieving that delightful crispiness in the crust. Take your premade or homemade pizza dough and gently stretch it out on a lightly floured surface to about 12 inches in diameter. Make sure not to tear the dough; slow and steady stretching is key. Once stretched, lay the dough on a pizza peel or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This will make it easier to transfer your pizza into the oven.

Applying the Sauce and Toppings

Start by spreading a generous amount of your homemade butternut squash pizza sauce over the prepared dough, leaving a small border around the edges for the crust. Use the back of a spoon or a ladle to spread the sauce evenly. Next, sprinkle mozzarella cheese across the sauce-covered dough for a classic cheesy base.

Layer your chosen toppings: scatter crumbled feta cheese, thin slices of roasted red peppers, and thinly sliced red onion over the cheese. These toppings will complement the sweet and nutty flavor of the sauce beautifully.

Finally, if you enjoy a bit of freshness on your pizza, top it off with a handful of arugula or spinach leaves after baking. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top for an extra touch of flavor. Slide your assembled pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking tray in the oven.

Baking the Pizza

Preparing Your Oven and Pizza Stone

Before you start assembling your pizza, ensure your oven is properly preheated to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (246 degrees Celsius). This high temperature is crucial for achieving a perfectly crispy crust. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven during the preheating stage. This will help mimic the effect of a traditional pizza oven by evenly distributing heat and absorbing excess moisture from the dough.

Stretching the Dough

Once your oven is preheating, lightly flour your work surface and begin to stretch the pizza dough. Start from the center and work your way out, pushing the dough gently with your fingertips. Rotate the dough as you go to maintain an even circle. Aim for a thickness of about 1/4 inch, but it’s okay if it’s not perfectly uniform. The rustic, hand-stretched look is part of the charm!

Assembling the Pizza

Lay the stretched dough onto a floured pizza peel or an inverted baking sheet if you don’t have a peel. Smooth a generous layer of your homemade butternut squash pizza sauce over the surface, leaving a small border around the edges for the crust. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly across the sauce. Distribute the feta cheese, roasted red peppers, and thinly sliced red onions on top. Remember, a little goes a long way; overloading your pizza can result in a soggy base.

Baking the Pizza

Carefully slide the pizza from the peel or baking sheet directly onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. If you don’t have a pizza stone, bake the pizza on a large baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned.

Finishing Touches

After removing the pizza from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes to set the toppings and prevent the cheese from sliding off when you cut it. Enhance your pizza by topping it with fresh arugula or spinach leaves and a drizzle of olive oil for an extra layer of flavor. This not only adds a beautiful pop of color but also introduces a fresh, peppery taste that complements the creamy sweetness of the butternut squash sauce.

Slice your pizza and enjoy the delightful blend of textures and flavors that make this dish uniquely satisfying.

Serving Suggestions

After pulling your golden-brown pizza from the oven, you might be pondering the best ways to serve it. With its rich, nutty butternut squash pizza sauce, your pizza pairs beautifully with a variety of accompaniments that amplify its gourmet appeal. Here are a few serving suggestions to make your meal even more memorable:

Pair with a Fresh Salad

To balance the richness of the pizza, serve it with a fresh salad. Choose a mix of bitter greens like arugula or radicchio, which will complement the sweetness of the butternut squash. Toss the greens in a light vinaigrette made from lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil for a refreshing side that cleanses the palate.

Add a Glass of Wine

Enhance your dining experience by pairing your pizza with the right wine. A glass of crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling, works wonderfully with the subtle sweetness of the squash and the savory flavors of your chosen toppings. If you prefer red wine, opt for a lighter variety like Pinot Noir to avoid overpowering the dish.

Serve With Herb-Infused Oils

Offer small bowls of herb-infused oils for drizzling over individual slices. You can easily prepare these by warming olive oil with herbs like rosemary, thyme, or basil. This not only adds an aromatic touch but also boosts the pizza’s flavor profile dramatically.

Offer a Variety of Toppings

While your pizza already has a delightful assortment of toppings, providing extra options allows guests to customize their slices. Small bowls of crumbled goat cheese, pine nuts, or even additional roasted vegetables can be great add-ons that guests can sprinkle on as they please.

Conclusion

Ready to revolutionize your pizza nights? Embrace the creamy delight of butternut squash pizza sauce. It’s not just about trying something new; it’s about transforming your meal into a healthier, tastier culinary adventure. Whether it’s a quiet dinner at home or a lively gathering with friends, this sauce is sure to impress. So roll out your dough, spread that golden sauce, and customize with your favorite toppings. Here’s to enjoying a slice that’s as nutritious as it is delicious!

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