A healthy bowl of comfort food
This butternut squash alfredo pasta is a wham-bam-get-in-my-mouth-right-now comfort food. The sauce is creamy and savory, but the pureed butternut squash gives it just a hint of sweetness. Tiny golden cubes of salty, lightly caramelized pancetta add a flavor and texture bonus that make your tastebuds rejoice. Lightly browned, diced butternut squash plus wilted kale add a heart healthy heartiness, so you can feel good about eating only pasta for dinner. This alfredo is simply everything a bowl of comfort food needs to be.
Versatility is my favorite thing about making a recipe
As I am putting a new recipe together I can see so many variations… if you would rather have a smooth, creamy alfredo sauce (without all the chunky stuff) you can call it quits after adding the parmigiano-reggiano cheese — just toss in your cooked pasta and enjoy. Talk about a fast and easy pasta dish! It’s a great way to use up any leftover roasted squash or even canned pumpkin, when your recipe only calls for a half cup but you had to open up the whole can. 💁
IF you want a pasta that is hearty and feels like a complete meal, add in the chunky extras — you won’t regret it!
Watch for my vegan version in honor of Bean
It’s also (of course) really delicious and flavorful. My goal when I create a vegan recipe is that I want the food to feel like you aren’t being tricked out of real food — plant-based food should still taste rich and delicious, exactly the way “real” food should taste. I want vegan recipes that you can serve to a carnivore and they don’t miss a thing. Look for it in the next few days: Vegan Alfredo with Butternut Squash and Kale.
Butternut Squash Alfredo With Pancetta and Kale
Yummy, creamy, savory butternut squash Alfredo with pancetta and wilted kale. A perfect fall bowl of pasta.
- 2 -1 cm thick slices pancetta diced
- 1 whole butternut squash (½ to roast, ½ to dice)
- ¾ cup roast butternut squash puree (from whole squash)
- 1 ½ cups butternut squash diced (from whole squash)
- 2 cups lacinato kale finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic pressed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese finely grated
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 sprigs thyme leaves removed from stems
- black pepper to taste
- 1 lb pasta
- Extra parmigiano-reggiano cheese shaved, for topping
Preparation of Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 450℉
Cut squash in half and remove seeds.
Place one half face down on a baking sheet. Roast for about 30 min. until very tender. Set aside and let cool. Once cooled, scoop out the tender flesh.
Peel and dice the other half of the squash. Set aside to sauté later.
Fill a large stockpot with 6 quarts of water, bring to a boil, and cook pasta as directed. Strain and set aside.
Butternut Squash Alfredo
In a large heavy bottomed skillet, brown the diced pancetta over medium heat.
Add diced butternut squash and sauté until tender and lightly golden brown.
Remove pancetta and squash and set aside.
Add butter and garlic to the pan. Cook until garlic is fragrant (aka “garlicky”).
Add the butternut squash puree. Stir.
Add heavy cream and thyme leaves. Stir.
Add grated parmigiano-regianno. Stir until melted.
Add back in pancetta and butternut squash.
Add in the finely shredded kale and let it wilt.
Add cooked pasta. Toss together.
Top with shaved parmigiano-regianno cheese.
My favorite pasta for this dish is orecchiette. The little bits of pancetta and butternut squash get snuggled up in the little cups of the pasta. It creates a spoonful of perfection experience.
This is also a wonderful creamy butternut squash Alfredo sauce if you leave out the pancetta, diced butternut squash and kale.