Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo

Butternut squash adds creaminess, color and nutrition to this still decadent version of a healthier Fettuccine Alfredo. 

How to make healthier Fettuccine Alfredo

{Disclosure: As co-owners of The Recipe ReDux, Serena & I were compensated to manage this National Pasta Association contest. We are not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. Thoughts and opinions are my own.}

When I married my husband, I told him I was weakening the gene pool.

Meaning our offspring (as it turns out, one daughter) would be even less Italian than I am. I’m actually only one-fourth Italian (my paternal grandfather’s family is from Abruzzi) and dear hubby has nary a drop of Italian blood in him.

But as many fellow Italian-Americans can tell you (and no, we are not all caricatures of The Godfather, The Sopranos or The Jersey Shore), the percentage doesn’t matter when it comes to the mannerisms, culture and the food that is ingrained into your being at an early age.

For years, I actually thought my Nana was also Italian, as she completely assimilated into the culture after marrying Pop Pop. And man, she sure could cook like a true Italian nonna.

And so, this is why my pantry typically looks like this (that would be 11 boxes of pasta – different shapes, sizes and variations of whole grain.)

best type of pasta for fettuccine alfredo

I make pasta at least twice a week so I was beyond giddy when the National Pasta Association approached The Recipe ReDux to host a “Pasta Fits” recipe challenge during October (National Pasta Month) to showcase pasta as a fantastic foundation to any healthy recipe. Pasta provides energy, curbs your hunger and you can pair with just about any vegetable and/or lean protein to create a yummy meal every time. Not to mention it’s pretty inexpensive too.

No convincing needed here. Yet, after the excitement wore off, I was paralyzed. WHAT TO MAKE? Heck, what pasta shape to use had me pondering for weeks.

Then I remembered one of our most popular posts to date: Spinach Avocado Alfredo Sauce (another recipe from a past ReDux contest #irony) so I decided to do a fall version and came up with Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo.

Butternut squash pasta sauce

Now, this is actually a riff on the mac & cheese I make all the time for my family – mixing some roasted and pureed winter squash into the sauce and no one is the wiser. It blends with the color but adds a hint of sweetness and a whole lot of nutrition to any pasta dish.

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Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo

Butternut squash pasta sauce

Butternut squash add creaminess, color and nutrition to this still decadent version of a healthier Fettuccine Alfredo.

  • Author: by Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD
  • Yield: 8 servings.

Ingredients

Scale

For the squash puree:

  • 1 (3 pound) butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed (save seeds for roasting!)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound fettuccine or linguine (I use half whole wheat and half regular pasta)
  • 23 tablespoons pasta water, as needed

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup low-fat milk, warmed in microwave for 1 minute
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. For the squash: preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash, cut sides up on a baking pan with a lip (to catch any juice drippings) and drizzle each half with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bake for about 45 -60 minutes or until flesh is soft. Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Scoop flesh out of skin and add to blender or food processor. Puree until smooth (sometimes I add a few tablespoons of water or milk to help the process.) This makes about 1 1/2 cups. Set aside.
  3. Cook fettuccine in a large pot according to package instructions. Save some pasta water when draining and add pasta to a large serving bowl.
  4. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and then slowly, pour warm milk into pot, whisking as you go. Whisk frequently until roux starts to simmer rapidly and thicken a bit. Reduce to low heat and mix in butternut squash puree until well incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and add a few tablespoons of pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour butternut squash sauce over hot pasta, add pepper and salt and toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and serve.

Ways to use butternut squash

And stay tuned…on Monday I’ll show you want I did with all of those butternut squash seeds.

So, what’s your favorite kind of pasta? How often you make it?

If you liked this recipe, you’d probably also like:

Penne with Almond Pesto & Eggplant
How to Make Almond Pesto

Spaghetti with Garlic & Oil (Aglio e Olio)
Spaghetti with garlic and red pepper
Triple Green Pasta
Pasta with olives and parlsey


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We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

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