Spaghetti with Butternut Squash: A Healthy Twist to Spaghetti

Spaghetti with Butternut Squash

Don’t you love it when you’re eating your favourite dish revamped into a healthier version of it? It’s like being given the pass to eat as much as you can without the guilt. I’m talking about spaghetti with butternut squash. Whoever came up with this idea is a genius. At first glance, you wouldn’t expect the two to go together in one dish but actually, they’re a match made in heaven. We’ve got two recipes for you on how to do this and each is uniquely delicious.

Butternut squash as sauce of spaghetti

When we talk about spaghetti with butternut squash, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably a pasta that’s bathed in orange sauce. Pureeing butternut squash to make a rich and tasty sauce is the most common way to go and you’ll see this in most restaurant especially when leaves start turning red and orange and the air gets cold and crisp. Now, let’s start with a simple recipe.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce spaghetti noodles
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of seasoned broth

Instructions

  1. Prepare spaghetti noodles according to instructions on the packaging. If you’re using handmade pasta, cook it for about four minutes in boiling water with salt. Drain and set aside.
  2. Boil water in a stockpot. Season lightly with salt. Toss in butternut squash until soft and mushy. Worry not about the risk of overcooking as the intention really is for it to be easily crushed. Drain excess water after.
  3. Put boiled butternut squash in a blender and blend until it develops a paste-like texture.
  4. In a skillet, heat butter. Sauté garlic until golden brown. Cook onion next.
  5. Pour pureed butternut squash on the pan along with the seasoned broth.
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper and allow the sauce to cook until it thickens.
  7. Add chopped sage leaves and stir mixture. Turn off heat.
  8. Lastly, combine cooked spaghetti with noodles.
  9. It is optional to sprinkle parmesan cheese and to top it with fresh sage when serving.

Now you have a rich and savoury spaghetti with butternut squash recipe. If you think you’ve made too much sauce for the pasta, you can freeze the rest and save it for another day or another recipe. If cooked and stored well, it can last up to 3 months in the freezer.

Some people would prefer to dress their pasta with a creamy sauce which is actually a good alternative. Instead of using a cup of the broth, use just half of it and add half a cup of cream. You may regulate the amount thereof depending on how thick and creamy you want your spaghetti done. Another great technique that will infuse an absolutely pleasant burst of flavors is to roast the butternut squash instead of boiling it. It will create a nutty and slightly smoky punch to your dish. Additionally, to bring in texture, have the option to add chopped nuts or meat slices such as chorizo, bacon tidbits, or even chicken slices.

Butternut squash as a whole ingredient of spaghetti

Now let’s talk about using it not on its pureed version but rather as a whole ingredient. For others, they find the above recipe too heavy and too filling. If you still want to introduce butternut squash to your spaghetti, have an option to use it as an ingredient as how you top a meatball. What we love about this is you get to enjoy nibbling the fruit and you can feel its texture in its immaculate form. Check out this recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 ֯F.
  2. While waiting, place butternut squash in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Once preheated, pop into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. On another set-up, prepare spaghetti noodles according to instructions on the packaging. If you’re using handmade pasta, cook it for about four minutes in boiling water with salt. Drain.
  5. In a pot or bowl, mix together butter, chopped sage, and butternut squash. Add spaghetti and stir until it’s coated well. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Similar suggestion to above, you may add cream if you prefer a richer texture of pasta. We’ve seen other recipes that make use of other sauces such as Pesto and Alfredo and surprisingly, butternut squash creates a good harmony with it. If you fancy adding other vegetables for additional textures, diced carrots are recommended.

Why you should try this dish?

By now you should have recognized that spaghetti with butternut squash has a healthier touch compared with an average pasta primarily because of the fruit’s presence. It’s packed with Vitamin A and other micronutrients. This will gain a lot of popularity among the vegetarian population also. Be mindful of some points though. Instead of cooking it with butter, swap it with olive oil. Choose a broth that’s not animal-based as well such as vegetable stock. It will come out as tasty.

Personally, I think another reason why this was ever thought of is to benefit parents who have trouble feeding their kids with vegetables. I can’t come up of another better way to hide it from them than turning it into a sauce of their favourite dish. The color does not deviate much also with the typical spaghetti so it’s the easiest way to trick your kids to eating it. This hack definitely helps you in outsmarting your kids.

If you haven’t noticed as well, making this dish is effortless. The real pain perhaps will just be felt when you peel, slice, and seed butternut squash but beyond that, it’s a breeze. If you find the preparation of the fruit really taxing, there is an option for you to buy pre-cut and peeled butternut squash and these are widely available commercially. It’s the excellent answer for any quick yet nutritious meal.

There you have it. For next time, you won’t have any second thoughts about the possibility of having a delicious yet nutritious meal with Spaghetti with Butternut Squash.