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. Butternut Squash, Browned Butter, and Rosemary Fettuccini Alfredo. 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 fettuccini 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. fettuccini whole wheat or regular, or other pasta shape
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth or vegetable stock or, in a pinch, water
- 3 cups butternut squash diced (from about 1/2 large squash)
- 1 cup milk whole milk recommended
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
- Cook pasta according to directions in heavily salted water.
- Turn heat to high and stir; butter will begin to brown after about 2 minutes.
- Once butter begins to brown, immediately turn heat to medium and add the onions and chopped fresh rosemary (1 tablespoon); sauté over medium heat until softened (about 3 minutes).
- Add the chicken stock and diced butternut squash. Bring to a boil, cover pot, and simmer on low, until squash is fork-tender (about 10 minutes- the smaller it's diced, the shorter time it will take).
- Use a potato masher to mash the squash directly in the pot.
- Add the milk; stir.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the squash right in the pot to make the sauce. Be careful- it's hot! Alternatively, you can use a regular blender or food processor in batches.
- Add kosher salt and black pepper to the sauce to taste.
- Add cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Serve immediately, with parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper if desired.
- Make it Vegan: substitute the butter for olive oil and skip the "browning" step. Substitute the milk for coconut milk, and be sure to use veggie stock or water in place of chicken stock.
- Time Saving Tip: you can usually buy already prepared (peeled and diced) butternut squash at the store, or you can use frozen.
- Money Saving Tip: peeling and dicing the butternut squash yourself will save you some money. Here's a great tutorial.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.