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
- 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.