Ever have one of those meals that you just can’t get out of your head? Like a movie with such a great ending that you keep thinking about it for the rest of the day? This is that meal. Approximately every half hour since having it for lunch, I’ve said to Zach, “I really liked that pasta!” I can’t stop thinking about it. I may have a problem.
Butternut squash. Browned butter. Rosemary. Three of my greatest loves of all time combine to form the creamiest, most aromatic, and potentially most delicious pasta sauce you will ever have.
This sauce is like Alfredo sauce, but one million times better.
Yes, ONE MILLION times better. And while we’re at it, one million times healthier as well! And it’s easy to make. And it uses only one pot. And it’s ready in under 30 minutes. And it’s make-ahead friendly: make the sauce and freeze or refrigerate until you want to use it. And I love it with all my heart and soul and you will too.
Have you ever made Alfredo sauce from scratch? It, too, is delicious, but certainly not very healthy. It’s usually made with a stick of butter, heavy cream, and lots of parmesan cheese. My arteries are clogging just thinking about it. While it’s great on a rare occasion, it certainly shouldn’t be an every-day pasta sauce.
A typical Alfredo sauce has almost 500 calories per serving. This sauce has 172. That’s almost 65% fewer calories than Alfredo sauce! I’m not typically a calorie countin’ kind of gal, but that’s a big difference, folks.
Even though this butternut squash sauce is a much healthier alternative to Alfredo sauce, it will fulfill your need for a rich and creamy sauce to satisfyingly coat each fettucini noodle as you twirl it around your fork (ah… life’s simple pleasures). And while Alfredo sauce is delicious mostly because of it’s salt and fat content, this sauce is delicious because of it’s rich combination of earthy and aromatic flavors.
There is a good amount of butter in the sauce, but half that of a typical Alfredo sauce. There is no cheese at all (and trust me – a cheese fanatic – when I tell you that you won’t miss it!). Plus, since the base of it is butternut squash, you get a hearty serving of veggies in each serving! This is a great way to “hide” veggies with picky children.
I have two suggestions before you make this.
First: if you don’t have an immersion blender, I highly recommend getting one. I use mine ALL the time. You can use a blender if you want, but let’s be honest… it’s a pain to take out, wash, and transfer the mixture back and forth. An immersion blender is like a magic wand that you stick in the sauce (or soup, or whatever you are making), turn on, and viola! Blended. Go get you one.
Second: double this recipe and freeze half. Then, you’ll have an extra super easy fast meal for which you’ll only have to boil pasta! Future you will thank you.
|Butternut Squash, Browned Butter, and Rosemary Fettucini Alfredo|| |
- 16 oz. whole wheat fettucini noodles (or any other whole grain pasta you want!)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock or, in a pinch, water)
- 3 cups prepared diced butternut squash (about ½ a large squash)
- 1 cup milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to directions in salted water.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onions and rosemary; saute over medium heat until softened (about 3 minutes)
- Turn heat to high and stir; butter will begin to brown after about 2 minutes.
- When butter is browned, add the chicken stock and squash. Cover pot and turn heat to medium-high, until squash is fork-tender (about 10 minutes)
- Use a potato masher to mash the squash directly in the pot.
- Add the milk; stir.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the squash to make the sauce. Alternatively, you can use a regular blender or food processor.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat.