My absolute best friend in college came to me with a recipe request. She loves butternut squash, but all the frozen butternut squash meals don’t have enough and the veggies get gross. So she requested a recipe for a butternut squash pasta that was low calorie and simple enough for her to make (she’s in graduate school now and spends all her time in lab).
I had a lot of fun with this! Usually when I make something it’s like “Ok, what would be cool to post about?” or “What do I want to eat for dinner?” But this was a like a mini little food challenge. I tried to find ways to add a lot of butternut squash flavor into a sauce without adding a ton of calories, and I think I was rather successful. Since this was so much fun, I’ve added a link at the top navigation menu called “Recipe Suggestion Box.” If you have an idea for something you want, send it to me. I’m not asking for a full recipe to post about, I just want to have a new food challenge. I’d also be open to a drink challenge (I’m not against trying multiple variations of a drink to find the perfect one). So, have any crazy ideas for something you’d like to see me post about? Go ahead and submit it!
What I love about this recipe is that you can take a lot of the ingredients out to make it really basic, and still have an awesome sauce. The hardest part is cutting the butternut squash, but you can find bags pre-cut squash in a lot of grocery stores now. To cut out calories, I used vegetable stock instead of milk or cream. Lower fat and still super tasty. If you want to add more veggies into your diet, sauté some on the side and add them to your cooked pasta. I’d recommend broccoli or mushrooms with this sauce.
½ a medium butternut squash (or 1 bag of the pre-cut squash)
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic
½ a medium onion, chopped
1 – 1-1/2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded (to taste)
1 cup reduced sodium vegetable (or chicken) stock (or you can use all water to make it really simple)
1 cup water
1 tsp rosemary (optional)
1 tsp thyme (optional)
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts (optional)
4 cups dried penne (or any other pasta or your choice)
Active time: 20 minutes
Inactive time: 30 minutes
Servings: Makes 8 servings
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. If using a whole butternut squash, peel the butternut squash. Using a really sharp knife (because butternut squash sucks to cut) cut the squash into 1” cube-ish pieces. Place the cubes of squash (pre-cut or what you just cut up) into a medium bowl and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over the top of the squash. Add the salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and the whole cloves of garlic (peeled). Toss to mix. Lay out on a cookie sheet and place in the heated oven. Bake until the squash can easily be pierced with a fork (about 20-30 minutes). Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil on the stove and add the onions. Saute until brown (about 5 minutes). Cook the pasta according to package instructions In a blender, add the cooked squash mix, the sautéed onions, the shredded parmesan cheese, the water, and the vegetable stock. Puree until smooth adding more water if necessary. Pour over the cooked pasta and mix. Top with extra cheese and toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!Pin It