CREAMY PARMESAN SQUASH PASTA

Fall is in full swing in Chicago. Nothing gets me more in the fall spirit than festive comfort food. This recipe is easy and full of flavor. I have honestly never cooked pumpkin but wanted to incorporate it into this recipe, what is more fall festive than a pumpkin, right? Unfortunately, the grocery store didn’t have pumpkins available… other than canned pumpkin. So, I resorted to butternut squash.

Squash always reminds me of my grandpa, he used to have the biggest garden in his backyard and grow everything, including squash. When we visited, he always made the best squash muffins and had tons of mashed squash in the freezer, I was hoping it was reserved for the future muffins he would send home with me. Since my childhood, I look back to those memories of cooking with my grandpa and all of the delicious things he would make from the garden in his back yard. Living in Chicago, I can’t have a full blown garden just yet but I am excited for the day when I will have my own garden that I can pull ingredients from. Until then, I am forced to rely on the grocery store’s product availability.

Anyways you didn’t come here for my reminiscing, scroll down for the recipe and enjoy!


CREAMY PARMESAN SQUASH PASTA

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 8 oz Pasta Shells (I like the large Barilla shells)
  • 2 lbs Butternut squash (about half of a large squash)
  • 1 ½ c  Spinach
  • ¼ Yellow Onion
  • 2 c Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 c Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
  • 4 Fresh Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Peel and cut up the butternut squash into ½ inch squares. This doesn’t have to be perfect but you want them all to be similar in size. Chop ¼ of the yellow onion and mix with the cut up squash.
  3. Put foil on a baking tray and spray lightly with cooking spray. Spread out the cut squash and onion evenly on the baking tray, then drizzle olive oil over the top. Don’t add too much olive oil, otherwise it will be greasy. Add pepper to taste.
  4. Put the baking tray in the oven at 400° for 20 min. After 10 minutes of the squash being in the oven, you will want to start on the sauce (to make sure everything finishes around the same time).  
  5. To begin making the sauce, peel and crush garlic cloves, finely chop rosemary. Place garlic, rosemary, butter, and cream in saucepan. Heat mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes to evaporate some of the water out of the cream. Stir occasionally to ensure mixture doesn’t burn.
  6. After the 20 minutes are up, use a spoon to move squash and onion around to “toss” it in the olive oil. Bake for another 15 minutes or until squash is lightly browned.
  7. While the squash is finishing up, the sauce will have thickened. Add Parmesan to sauce and continue stirring. Bring water to boil in separate pot for the pasta. Once the water is boiling, add a dash of salt and a drizzle of olive oil to the water before adding the pasta. The shells will need to cook for about 8 minutes or until al dente .
  8. If you have multi-tasked, the sauce, pasta, and squash should all get done around the same time. Drain the pasta and put it in a large mixing bowl. Next, add in the squash and sauce. Fold this mixture in the bowl to avoid mushing the squash or the pasta. Stir in the spinach last. I always add this last to avoid it getting too cooked and mushy.
  9. When serving, top with extra shredded Parmesan and you are done!
  10. Lastly, DEVOUR!

Tag me if you make this recipe, I love seeing all of your master pieces!

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