For today’s Meatless Monday post, I’m sharing a recipe featuring one of my very favorite ingredients: butternut squash. It may be a little hard to prep, but once you taste the beautiful cooked flesh of the squash, it’s hard to resist making up new recipes to devour it! (Although straight with butter and a hint of brown sugar definitely works, in my opinion.)
I love these Butternut Squash Wontons and meatballs made with squash puree from Deceptively Delicious. My children will pick the spinach out of this pasta, but they’ll still get all the vitamins in that squash sauce. Flecked with nutmeg, which tastes wonderful with both squash and dark leafy greens, this is a perfect Meatless Monday dinner alongside a fruit salad or some crunchy carrots and dip.
To make butternut squash puree, you have several options.
Whole Foods or EarthFare (or Trader Joe’s, if you have it in your area – we don’t) often sells it in a can, or you can substitute canned pumpkin puree. You can also cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, place the halves face down in a pan with a little water in the bottom, cover, and bake for about an hour or until the flesh is very soft. Then scoop out the flesh into a food processor or blender and puree it. Finally, you can peel the squash, remove the seeds and pulp, cut into cubes, and steam or roast the cubes until they are very soft, and then puree them. (Better yet, and my shortcut of choice, you can buy already diced and prepped butternut squash cubes in a bag in the produce section of Walmart.)
I like to freeze the squash puree in 1-cup portions so it’s ready whenever I want to incorporate it into a recipe.
Enjoy this fun twist on spaghetti, and let me know if you make it and enjoy it. (Or hate it! Only try to be nice about it, OK?) The best part is that once you have the puree on hand, this is very easily a 15-minute meal.
Butternut Squash & Spinach Spaghetti
Adapted from Julia’s Album
- 1/2 lb. spaghetti
- 1 cup butternut squash puree
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 pinch (1/16 teaspoon) paprika
- freshly ground pepper
- about 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- Boil spaghetti in salted water to your liking. (You’re a grown woman; I assume you know if you like pasta al dente or very limp. Right?)
- In a large skillet, heat squash puree and half and half over medium. Season with salt, nutmeg, paprika, and a few grinds of black pepper. When it starts to bubble, turn off the heat. Add a few handfuls of baby spinach to the sauce and stir to wilt the spinach.
- Add the spaghetti to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately.