Thursday, November 10, 2011

Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo

Can we agree that butternut squash makes everything better? Because I’m pretty sure it does. Fall comes around and it’s squash season and I get excited. Butternut squash are like potatoes, but healthier and with more flavor – win and win. Basically, life rule: When in doubt, add squash.  

Which is exactly what I did last weekend when I invented this Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo recipe for a house dinner. 

Now, I’m not going to claim that this is health food. It is fettuccine alfredo -- by definition, it's cream and butter sauce. BUT I will say that if you’re going to go for alfredo sauce, this is definitely a healthier version. It’s more than half BNS, plus some Greek yogurt just for fun. 

It was super simple, fast to make, and pretty freaking delicious. I added chicken, but this could easily be vegetarian. 

Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo
(This version serves 8-10, depending on how many 20-something boys you’re feeding. The sauce stores well, so you don’t have to use it all at once.)
  • 1 jar Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash, about 3-4 cups (basically, just use what you have)
  • 4 oz Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 ½ boxes fettuccine (18 oz)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375*.
2. Peel  squash and scoop out seeds. Cut it into 1-inch cubes. (If you prefer, you can just cut the whole squash in half and roast it without peeling – the roasting will take longer.)
3. Grease or spray a roasting pan. 
4. Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper, and roast for 30-45 minutes, until tender. Cool at least 10 minutes.

If you’re making the chicken:
At the same time you roast the squash, wash and dry the chicken. Sprinkle it with paprika, place it in a roasting pan, and roast in the same oven as the squash (at 375*) for 20 minutes (cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken). Cool completely and shred or dice.

5. In a food processor, combine alfredo sauce, Greek yogurt, roasted squash, and nutmeg. Process until smooth. Add water or chicken broth to thin the sauce as necessary.

6. Prepare fettuccine according to package instructions. 
7. Once the pasta is drained, put it back in the pot and toss with sauce and chicken.
8. Serve with parmesan cheese.