Cheesy Butternut Squash & Spinach Pasta

So I was sitting down to plan my weekly menu like I always do…which by the way, is probably my favorite time of the week.  I take an hour to sit down with a tea or coffee, my google reader, and a cooking magazine and get to planning.  I also love it because having a shopping list saves me time and money at Wegmans.  Good god, if I was let loose in there with no list, I would be living on the streets, in a box, surrounded by all the food I’d buy to try.  Anyway, this week I knew that I needed to get butternut squash in the line-up again. After that delicious couscous I made last week, I’ve become a bit.. obsessed with it.  Obsessed.  I can’t believe it took me 25 years to roast a butternut squash.  What planet was I living on?

I was getting frustrated because I wasn’t finding the recipe I was looking for after an hour of blog/pinterest/magazine hunting.  I then decided to draft up this recipe, adding a little of this and a little of that of some of my favorite things.  The result was a success!  I actually didn’t get my portions right this time (too little squash and spinach compared to pasta), but the recipe below reflects the changes that will make it more proportioned. So no need to adjust and enjoy!

Cheesy Butternut Squash & Spinach Pasta

Serves: 6

1 tbsp + 4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

2/3 white onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz. whole wheat spiral pasta

2.5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

9 oz fresh spinach

5 oz Gouda cheese (18 month aged), shredded

2 lb butternut squash, cubed into bite-size pieces

3 tbsp. reduced fat parmesan cheese, grated

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F
  2. Arrange diced butternut squash on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and make sure squash is coated.  Bake for 40 minutes, mixing around about every 10 minutes.
  3. While squash is roasting, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat.  Saute onion 5-7 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute.  Add in chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil.  Once boiling, add pasta and reduce to a simmer.  Cook 11-12 minutes until pasta is cooked through.
  4. While pasta cooks, heat remaining 2 tsp. olive oil over low-medium heat in a large non-stick skillet.  Saute spinach about 6 minutes or until wilted down to half the original size.
  5. Add butternut squash, spinach, and Gouda cheese to pasta mixture.  Mix well.
  6. Reduce oven heat to 350 F
  7. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and top with parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes so the top gets slightly crispy.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 385 calories, 15.5g fat (7g saturated), 46g carbohydrate (9g dietary fiber), 18.5g protein

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