Recipe Image
Carol Kicinski
Butternut Squash pasta is the perfect comfort food with a healthier twist. With no cream and seasonal veggies, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try this sooner!

Comforting fall pasta made healthier

Author Byline Image   There are times when we need something restorative and soul soothing – like a big bowl of pasta with a creamy sauce.
   The other day was one of those times for me. It was also one of those times when I needed to make do with what was already in my pantry or fridge – no time or energy to run to the store; barely enough energy to eat, let alone cook. I needed something simple but I also needed something that felt sort of special.
   This pasta with creamy butternut squash turned out to be just the thing; comforting, filling, simple, and yes – special. It seems and tastes indulgent yet there is nothing in here that is bad for you! In fact the pasta I used is a potato, rice, and quinoa pasta fortified with flax, psyllium and all sorts of vitamins and minerals. I just love it when indulgent is good for you, too!
   I really love that the
Gluten-Free “Creamy” Butternut Squash Pasta
Serves 4
4 cups chopped butternut squash (from 1 small or ½ large squash, peeled and seeded)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces gluten free penne pasta
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 clove garlic, grated
¼ cup Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
   Place the butternut squash in a saucepan, cover with water, add ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Boil until the squash is very tender, about 15 minutes.
   While the squash is cooking, prepare the pasta – bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions. Remove about 2 cups of the pasta water, drain the rest and return the pasta to the hot pot.
   When the squash is very tender, drain off the water and return the squash to the hot pot. Mash the squash with a potato masher until fairly smooth. Add the nutmeg, rosemary, and garlic and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes to meld the flavors. Stir in the Parmesan or nutritional yeast.
   Add the squash mixture to the pasta with about ¾ cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir to combine and add more water, a little at a time, if needed until the sauce is creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
   Serve the pasta topped with some chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.
sauce for this pasta is so rich and creamy yet it doesn’t have a lick of cream in it. I did throw in some Parmesan but to keep it dairy-free, use nutritional yeast instead.
   The walnuts and dried cranberries may seem an unusual touch but trust me – it really made this dish
sing, added some crunch and color, and made it so pretty!
   Next time you are looking for an indulgent, creamy bowl of comfort but don’t want to have to work it off the next day at the gym, try this!