Roasted Butternut Squash & Spinach Alfredo

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To be very honest, I’ve never been a huge butternut squash fan.  It’s actually a little too sweet for me.  I know, crazy.  But there’s just something about sweet foods in a savory dish that I’m just not really into.  Unfortunately, butternut squash (along with sweet potatoes and other winter squash) fall into this category.  And therefore, do not make a regular appearance in my kitchen. butternut squash pasta, butternut squash sauce, healthy alfredo sauce, low calorie alfredo, healthy pasta recipes, vegetarian pasta recipes
butternut squash pasta, butternut squash sauce, healthy alfredo sauce, low calorie alfredo, healthy pasta recipes, vegetarian pasta recipes

To be very honest, I’ve never been a huge butternut squash fan.  It’s actually a little too sweet for me.  I know, crazy.  But there’s just something about sweet foods in a savory dish that I’m just not really into.  Unfortunately, butternut squash (along with sweet potatoes and other winter squash) fall into this category.  And therefore, do not make a regular appearance in my kitchen.

butternut squash pasta, butternut squash sauce, healthy alfredo sauce, low calorie alfredo, healthy pasta recipes, vegetarian pasta recipes

butternut squash pasta, butternut squash sauce, healthy alfredo sauce, low calorie alfredo, healthy pasta recipes, vegetarian pasta recipes This season, I’ve been determined to change my own mind.  I would eat butternut squash and I’d like it!  There had to be a recipe, where I would happily munch on butternut squash (and not add copious amounts of salt to take away the sweetness).  The only problem, most recipes that feature these brightly colored winter squash call for roasting.  And roasting usually makes veggies a bit sweeter – bringing out their natural sugars and caramelizes them.  Great for cauliflower, brussel sprouts or onions.  But just makes winter squash all the more sweeter. butternut squash pasta, butternut squash sauce, healthy alfredo sauce, low calorie alfredo, healthy pasta recipes, vegetarian pasta recipes

To combat that, I thought I’d add in some earthy greens (the spinach) and use a good amount of onions and garlic to flavor the sauce AND most importantly, take the edge off that sweetness.  Well ladies and gentlemen…it worked!  Like a delicious, creamy charm!  The sauce was packed with flavor plus was smooth and creamy just like an alfredo sauce.  Without the cream!  I will definitely make this sauce again…and again…and definitely a few more times.  It was awesome!

Roasted Butternut Squash & Spinach Alfredo:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil, divided in half
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 lb spinach, finely chopped
  • 8 oz short cut pasta – like rigatoni or penne

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425F.
  2. Boil water for pasta and cooking according to package directions.  Save about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
  3. Toss butternut squash with sage, 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast squash for about 30-40 minutes or until fork tender and lightly golden brown.
  4. While squash roasts, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium high heat.  Add in diced onions and garlic.  Saute for about 3-5 or until onions and garlic are just starting to get translucent.
  5. In a high powered blender or food processor, place the roasted squash and onion mixture in the bowl.  Blend on high until the squash is smooth.  Add in the parmesan cheese, lemon juice and blend on high for another minute.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  6. At this point the sauce is probably somewhat thick.  Slowly add in some of the vegetable stock, blending at the same time.  Check frequently for consistency.  You may or may not use all of the stock, depending on how thick or thin your sauce.  If you want the sauce thinner (or  if it thickens over time on the stove) thin out with the reserved pasta water.
  7. Pour the butternut sauce back into the medium saute pan.  Heat over low and add in the chopped spinach, stirring to combine.  Cook over medium low until the spinach wilts – about 10 minutes.  Again, if the sauce thickens, use some of the reserved pasta water to keep it at the consistency you like.
  8. Toss in the hot cooked pasta with the butternut and spinach sauce.  Toss to combine.  Add more parmesan cheese if you’d like.  Serve hot!

3 Comments

  1. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies

    October 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Aw, I LOVE roasted butternut squash, but I understand what you mean about it being too sweet. I’m glad you got over that though because this recipe sounds amazing!

    • mewinebrenner

      October 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Yes, with this recipe I’m officially a butternut squash convert!

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