Fall is in the air, and that means one thing: it's time for healthy comfort food! This creamy butternut squash and mascarpone orecchiette is the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold
day. Orecchiette pasta is shaped like little ears, which makes it the perfect vessel for this creamy sauce. If you're looking for a delicious and comforting meal, this is the recipe for
A healthier version of the classic Italian pasta dish
One of the best things about healthy eating is that you don't have to give up all your
favorite foods. Your diet quality is important and with a few simple substitutions, you
can enjoy all your favorites without sacrificing taste or nutrition. For example, this
Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Orecchiette is a healthier version of the classic
Italian pasta dish. Instead of using heavy cream, this recipe uses low-fat mascarpone
cheese, which makes it lighter and lower in calories, better for healthy eating. The
butternut squash provides a natural sweetness, while the kale adds a healthy dose
of vitamins and minerals. This dish is hearty and filling, but it's also healthy and satisfying.
What is so healthy about Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Orecchiette
For healthy eating is all about making smart choices. And when it comes to pasta, there are
few things more delicious or satisfying than a big bowl of orecchiette. But what makes this particular dish so healthy? For starters, it features butternut squash, which is packed with vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the mascarpone adds a healthy dose of protein and calcium. And finally, the orecchiette itself is made from whole wheat flour, which is high in
fiber and nutrients. So not only is this dish delicious, but it's also good for you. So the next time you're looking for healthy meal options, be sure to give Butternut Squash and
Mascarpone Orecchiette a try. You won't be disappointed.
What does butternut squash taste like?
Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor that is similar to pumpkin. When cooked, it becomes soft and creamy, making it the perfect ingredient for soups, stews, and pasta dishes. Mascarpone is an Italian cheese that is often used in desserts. It has a rich, creamy texture that pairs well with the butternut squash. This dish is simple to make and can be on the table in under an hour. If you are looking for a way to use up some of that winter squash, this Creamy Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Orecchiette is the perfect recipe! The butternut squash pairs perfectly with the mascarpone cheese and the sage gives it a nice earthy flavor.
Ingredients needed to make Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Orecchiette
- 4 c. butternut squash, cubed (or 15-oz. bag frozen)
- 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
- 4-5 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. orecchiette pasta
- ¼ c. heavy cream
- ½ c. low-fat mascarpone cheese
- 2 T. unsalted butter
- ½ c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (plus extra for serving)
- 2 T. fresh thyme leaves
- Pre-heat your oven to 400°F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat™ baking mat. Set aside.
- Add butternut squash, red onion, and garlic cloves to a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Spread into a single layer without overcrowding.
- Place the vegetables in the preheated oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through, or until vegetables are fork tender and golden brown.
- While the butternut squash mixture is roasting, prepare the orecchiette according to package instructions. Once the pasta is al dente, reserve one cup of the cooking water prior to draining. Return pasta to the pot and set it aside.
- Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and carefully transfer to a food processor or a high-speed blender. (Do not overfill). Cover and blend until completely smooth. Add a little of the reserved cooking liquid, if necessary.
- Temper the heavy cream by stirring a one or two tablespoons of the hot butternut squash puree to it before adding to the blender. Add the mascarpone cheese and blend until smooth.
- Pour the creamy butternut squash sauce into the pot with the pasta and stir to combine. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid to thin out the sauce, as needed.
- Stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese, and fresh thyme leaves. Season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste, and serve immediately topped with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!