Curly Rotini pasta in a lower-in-fat, higher-in-nutrition creamy pasta sauce made with butternut squash sauce instead of cream.
I was messaging with Lori, Recipe Girl, about low calorie recipes and she recommended that I visit Skinnytaste. On Skinnytaste, Gina shares lower calorie, healthy, low fat, family-friendly recipes. Her Pasta with Butternut Squash recipe caught my eye because my sweet neighbor brought me over a butternut squash from her garden the day before.
I wasn’t sure how my family would respond to a butternut squash pasta sauce, but they’re crazy about my Butternut Squash Soup, so I decided to combine the two recipes. Everyone, including me, loved the pasta. It was a wonderful creamy sauce without a drop of cream.
Gina’s cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor, will be released on September 30, 2014! Go ahead and pre-order it today.
Rotini Pasta in a Creamy Butternut Sauce with Chicken Sausage and Baby Spinach
- 1 ½ lb. butternut squash cut in half and seeds removed
- ½ cup water
- 1 lb ground chicken sausage
- 16 ounces Rotini pasta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup onions diced
- ½ cup celery diced
- ½ cup carrots diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 2 cups baby spinach roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
- Roast butternut squash in a foil covered baking dish with an inch of water at 350° for 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool until it’s easy to handle.
- Scrape the butternut squash from the peel and place in a blender with ½ cup water; blend until smooth.
- Brown chicken sausage in a large sauté pan. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
- While pasta is cooking, melt butter in the sauté pan. Sauté onions, celery, and carrots over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix in browned chicken sausage.
- Add pureed butternut squash, and reserved pasta water a little at a time to thin out the sauce to desired consistency. Mix in baby spinach and parmesan cheese. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour sauce over pasta and toss to combine. Serve with additional parmesan cheese.
Lentils are totally my go-to ban (legume?) of choice because they don’t require soaking that right there is a huge plus in my book! I like my brown sugar lentils, but there’s something to be said about a simple bowl of lentil soup. I grew up on progresso’s canned version but I’m looking forward to finding a winning recipe for a fresh-made one!
Hi! Can you see any reason why I couldn’t pressure cook the butternut squash? I really want to do this as a weeknight meal next week when I know I’m going to be short on time and was wondering if there was a roasted taste that would be missing? Thank you for all you do!! I’ve got Kolaches on my list, can’t find quark but think I could use amish farmers cheese instead. So excited to try all these new recipes! Thank you!
Thanks so much Lisa. You do get a nice roasted flavor but you could also cube it and brown it a bit to add extra flavor. You’ll have to let me know how you like the Kolaches too 🙂
I need to make this now!
This combo is right in my wheel well, as the wanna be professionals in biz would say. I love your spin on Gina’s recipe, totally making it your own, and so comfort food looking. This is one recipe I’d totally make, and I’m not just saying that 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
What a great idea combining both! I’ve made a Jessica Seinfeld pasta with a similar combo and it was really good 😀 xxx
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
Oh my, NOTHING would be better than this for me today. I love everything about it. It’s tasty, comforting and good for me.
that butternut sauce is making my mouth water. Boy it looks wonderful and goes so well with the sausage and spinach
A great autumn dish. I love the butternut squash sauce.
Carol at Wild Goose Tea
I am not sure I would consider a lower calorie pasta dish, because it is TOO good. Creamy butternut squash sauce—-WOW. That’s pretty special in my corner of the world.
Jamie | Jamie's Recipes
This looks and sounds wonderful! What fantastic Fall flavors.
I bet I could get Bob to eat this. He doesn’t like butternut squash but I bet he won’t know there’s squash in it. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him one ding dang bit. And I’ve got some baby spinach left from your Minestrone Soup too…………..ohhhhhhhhh I see a plan comin’ together. Thanks Barbara! 🙂
Our local Butternut Squash is now available, so it’s the perfect time to enjoy this dish!
Butternut squash and sausage make pasta shine, especially in this time of year. I could dig a fork right in. I might even add some kale.
Delicious and comforting! My kind of dish.