Updated: Nov 25, 2019
A Fall Twist On A Classic Dish
I love pasta in any form - and I especially love the fall flavors of butternut squash ravioli and the comforting feel of a warm mac and cheese dish in the chilly temps. I decided to do a fall twist on mac and cheese and then when I made the sauce, it was so delicious without the cheese that I left the cheese out of it at first! So, I offer an option to include cheese and make this dish similar to a mac and cheese, or omit the cheese and simply enjoy the fall flavors of the butternut squash cream sauce! As always, this dish can be made to be suitable for many different dietary needs so that everyone can enjoy it! I made this dish gluten free by using a chickpea pasta. While this dish does contain dairy, you can make this dish lactose-free by using lactose-free dairy or you can swap the dairy for non-dairy alternatives to make this dish suitable for your needs. I hope you love this fall pasta dish as much as we do!
Ingredients (yields 8 servings):
2 lbs. butternut squash, chopped
1/4 C oil (I used avocado oil), plus additional 2 Tbsp (I actually used olive oil for the additional 2 Tbsp)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 C milk (I used 2% - opt for lactose-free if needed or a dairy free option if you prefer)
1 1/2 C vegetable stock (I used Trader Joe's Hearty Vegetable Stock, which has about 330 mg sodium per 1 C serving - you may need to adjust the salt in this recipe if your broth contains significantly more or less sodium)
1/4 C Greek yogurt, plain (can use lactose-free or a non-dairy alternative, if preferred)
1 large clove garlic, minced
6 C spinach
16 - 18 oz pasta (I used 2 boxes of Barilla Chickpea GF pasta - most boxes will contain about 8 oz pasta)
*Optional 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, if preferred (this will make the dish more like a mac and cheese, compared to a butternut squash cream sauce). I recommend grating the cheese or purchasing shredded cheese.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray (I like to line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil for an easy clean-up).
3. Transfer chopped butternut squash to baking sheet. Drizzle 1/4 C oil over butternut squash. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and all of the garlic powder and onion powder. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until tender. I recommend mixing the squash about halfway through and making sure that squash does not burn.
*Allow squash to cool for about 15 minutes or until it is safe to handle. Alternatively, you can roast the squash in advance, store in an airtight container in the fridge and begin with the next step, below.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
5. While water is boiling, transfer roasted squash to blender. Add nutritional yeast, milk, vegetable broth, nutmeg, remaining salt and pepper and Greek yogurt to blender and puree until smooth.
6. Warm remaining 2 Tbsp oil in a large sauce pan. Add minced garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and saute until wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
7. Transfer squash mixture from blender to saucepan. If you want to add cheese, I recommend adding the cheese at this time and mixing until cheese is melted.
7. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain water once pasta is cooked using a colander and add cooked pasta to sauce. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving
Calories 393 calories, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Carbohydrates 55 g, Fiber 11 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 262 mg, Calcium 164 mg
Nutritional analysis does not include optional cheese and uses a vegetable broth with 330 mg sodium per 1 C serving.
**While this recipe is not made with any gluten-containing ingredients, I recommend choosing certified gluten free items for all ingredients, including broth and spices, if all possible sources of cross-contact need to avoided, such as in the case of celiac disease.