I know, this is crazy- I’m writing in my blog after a very long hiatus. I can’t believe how busy and amazing my summer was! Lots of traveling, lots of time with friends and family and a lot of good food- mostly made by other people hah.
But here I am, gearing up for fall and looking forward to cooler weather and a bit more relaxation than my summer had. This dish was warming and oh so satisfying. The sauce is thick and creamy and all that encompasses fall (and by that I mean full of squash- mmm.)
You will need:
2 cups of cubed butternut squash
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 white onion, sliced
1 bag of baby spinach
2 tbs of olive oil, divided
1 box of pasta, I used fusilli
1 jar reduced fat Alfredo sauce
1 cup water or more as needed
1 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350.
First in a casserole dish (I used the one I was going to bake the pasta in- who wants to do more dishes?) add the cubed squash and 1 tbs olive oil, pepper flakes (if desired) and salt and pepper to your liking. I usually like more pepper in my dishes and I added around 1/4 tsp salt. Bake for 30 mins stirring half way through.
While the squash roasts make the caramelized onions. These should take about the same time as the squash. In a pan (I used the stock pot I would later boil my pasta in, you could use a skillet but hey- less dishes?) heat 1 tbs olive oil on medium low heat, add the onion and some salt and pepper. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions should be soft and have a nice brown color. I don’t like to get mine too caramelized or they can get lost in the dish. In the last 5 mins add in the spinach until wilted. Remove from pan and set aside. By now the squash should also be done.
Boil some water and cook pasta 2 mins less than instructed for al dente. Drain and set aside. In the pot add the jar of sauce, 1 cup water and squash. With a hand blender purée until smooth. If you don’t have a hand mixer, you can use a blender or food processor (but you may need to do this in batches.) Once puréed turn heat on to medium. Once warm stir in cheese. Feel free to add more water if the sauce is too thick.
Now add pasta and onion mixture to the sauce, stirring to combine. Pour into a large casserole dish.
Evenly sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and spray with cooking spray.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.