Friday, February 24, 2012

Butternut Squash Pasta with Blue Cheese and Spinach

Hi guys! I meant to update sooner but I've been pretty busy with school work and the stomach flu. Yeah... the flu. It was terrible. Oh, and it kicked in on the night before I had to take my last teacher certification test. And I was headed home for the weekend. When it rains, it pours.  Luckily (?), my mom and sister weren't feeling wonderful either so we spent the weekend lounging and trying to recover. 

But there were a couple positive notes:
#1 - I bought about six cardigans in bright spring colors at Forever21 for $13 dollars each. Short cardigans were on my "need-to-buy-right-this-instant" list because all of mine are long winter ones so I didn't feel guilty at all. Even with the flu, my shopping addiction cannot be stopped. No really, it's a problem. My new purchases are folded nicely on my couch because there is no more room in my pathetic excuse for a closet.

#2 - The movie In Time with Justin Timberlake. It doesn't seem like a movie I would normally like but I loved it! It's basically about living in a world where time is the currency instead of money so the few rich people could live forever and the poor people never know if they'll be alive at the end of the day. It really made me think about society and the disparity between different socioeconomic statuses. Definitely worth the dollar at RedBox!

Well after a couple days of not being able to eat or move, I'm feeling 100% better and ready to talk about some food!

I made this butternut squash pasta a while ago. It first grabbed my attention because it had a " withoucreamy" sauce without all of the calories of a cream or cheese sauce. I'm constantly looking for ways to lighten up hearty favorites so this seemed perfect.

The color combination of the bright orange squash with the green spinach was gorgeous! The texture was very creamy without being heavy. The squash and onions gave the pasta a pleasant sweetness, which was counteracted by the bite of the blue cheese. I found that the blue cheese in the sauce gave the perfect flavor combination. When I topped my serving of pasta with a little extra blue cheese for garnish, I thought the flavor was too strong and completely overpowered the flavor of the squash and onions so I scarped it off.

Unlike most of my other recipes, this one is not freezer friendly. I tried to freeze some and when I thawed it out, it had a really strange and unpleasant consistency so I threw it out. Lesson learned - next time I'll only make what I can eat, which is still a lot :)

Make this if you love a pasta with a creamy texture but would like to consume less calories and more veggies!

Butternut Squash Pasta with Blue Cheese and Spinach (6 servings) from Budget Bytes
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 oz pasta
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 3 oz blue cheese
  1. If you are using fresh butternut squash, peel, scoop out the seeds and cut into one inch cubes. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Spread the squash cubes out on the baking sheet, sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper and sage. Toss to coat then roast in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the squash is soft and golden along the edges (stir once half way through). 
  2. Dice the onion and cook it until soft with 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a medium sauce pan. When the onion is soft, add the water, bouillon and roasted squash cubes. Cook for about 5 minutes more or until it is hot and the squash is mushy.
  3. Transfer the squash, bouillon and onions to a blender and puree. Pour the pureed squash sauce back into the sauce pan and keep warm over low heat. 
  4. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the squash sauce and spinach. Stir it all together until evenly mixed and the spinach has wilted. Add the blue cheese crumbles and stir once more. 

beautiful colors!

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