Red pepper and butternut squash pasta is winter comfort

Dec 28, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. ET

This red pepper and butternut squash pasta is a perfectly comforting meal without all the added fat. It's not too difficult to make, and the ingredient list is a short one. Plus, it was a real winner with my family. My little boy ate the sauce plain, he liked it so much. Although this is a healthy vegetarian meal, it has some serious staying power. I was full the rest of the night after eating this dish.

Prepping the vegetables is a little bit time consuming, but overall this dish is quite simple to make. There is a lot of boiling — the pasta, the butternut squash and the red pepper — leaving you with time to prepare side dishes for this wonderful meal.

The butternut squash sauce over the pasta is thick and creamy, so I added 1/2 cup of almond milk to the entire pureed squash and pepper, but if you like an even thinner sauce, then feel free to add more liquid until you reach your desired consistency.

If desired, you can leave out the cheese and top this dish with a handful of chopped pecans or other kind of nut. You can also substitute the parsley with basil. Basil has a stronger flavor, which works well with the vegetables if you like basil. Don't forget some salt and pepper, to taste, and this meal is ready to be devoured.

butternut pasta

Red pepper and butternut squash pasta recipe

This pasta dish is absolutely delicious and packed with healthy ingredients. The sauce is made with red pepper and creamy, pureed butternut squash, lending a delicious fall flavor.

Serves 6-8 

Prep time: 22 minutes | Cook time: 18 minutes I Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 3 cups (1 small) butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping
  • Chopped parsley, for topping (optional)

Directions:

  1. Boil a large pot of water on your stovetop. Peel and dice a small butternut squash. Place the pieces of squash into the pot, and boil until the squash is tender (about 15 to 18 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, remove the stems and seeds from the pepper. Coarsely chop it, and add it to the boiling water about 3 to 4 minutes before the squash is totally softened.
  3. In another large pot, boil water, and add the pasta. Follow the package directions for the pasta you are using.
  4. To a blender, add the tender squash, tender peppers, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper and almond milk. Blend until a thick sauce is created. Feel free to add more milk (you could also try a vegetable broth) until your desired consistency is reached. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to do a few batches.
  5. Drain the noodles, and top with the squash mixture. Add Parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired.

More squash recipes

Baked butternut squash fries
Chickpea and butternut squash patties
Brown rice and spinach-stuffed butternut squash

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