Oct 22, 2012

Spaghetti with Creamy Butternut Leek Parmesan Sauce



Something magical happens to pasta when you combine it with a creamy butternut squash puree, a little Parmigiano Reggiano, leeks, garlic and sage.


I found this out by accident.

This started from a mistake, a butternut squash puree that was far too thin and liquidy.  A very HAPPY mistake!

This is an awesome blender!!

Sauteed leeks and a good quality cheese make this simple savory pasta dish a HUGE success, even if you're not a fan of butternut squash. You'll swear this is full of cream and butter... but it's not. This is perfect for Meatless Mondays, or any night of the week.


It's super easy to make with only a few ingredients, and is very filling. To speed this up, you can buy pre-cut butternut squash. I was craving a thick spaghetti, but any pasta shape would work. Whole wheat of gluten-free pasta would also be great! My family isn't a fan of whole wheat, so I use Ronzoni Smart Taste or Dreamfield's low carb pasta.




Spaghetti with Creamy Butternut Leek Parmesan Sauce
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 Size: 1/4th of recipe Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7
Calories: 266 • Fat: 3.5 g • Carb: 56 g • Fiber: 9 g • Protein: 9.5 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 97 mg (without salt)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 8 oz spaghetti of your choice (use brow rice pasta for gluten-free)
  • 1 (1 cup) large leek (white part only)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh shaved parmesan cheese
  • 4 sage leaves, sliced thin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, blend until smooth.



Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, melt the butter, sauté the leeks and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 5 - 6 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water to thin out to your liking. Stir in parmesan cheese and sage and mix in pasta until well coated.


Serve with additional parmesan cheese on the side.

145 comments :

  1. This looks SO delicious! I've only recently discovered I like butternut squash soup with pasta and now there's no going back!

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  2. This looks fantastic! Do you think I could use acorn squash in place of the butternut? There were 4 acorn squash in my co-op basket this week!

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    Replies
    1. Any of the orange winter squash should work. Acorn would be delish, but probably a tiny bit sweeter.

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    2. I made this tonight with Delicata squash - Delicious! It took about 6-7 minutes to cook in boiling water. Next time, since the squash are small, I would boil one squash for the sauce, and make roast another, diced, to mix in at the end. - Super easy, super quick. BTW, Delicata squash you do not need to peel, and cuts more easily than a butternut squash.

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  3. I definitely will do this one. Yummy!

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  4. Now I know what I am having for dinner tonight. Looks delish!

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  5. This looks so good. I have a favorite Butternut Squash and Leek Soup (modified slightly from a Food and Wine recipe)so I already know I love this flavor combination. Now to figure out when I can make this...

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  6. harika bir tarif. tebrik ediyorum.

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  7. Could I use dried sage if I don't have the leaves? (And how much would u suggest?) just made your butternut squash soup and my husband & I loved it! :)

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    1. Sure, I usually do half of what fresh would be.

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  8. What can be used to replace the leeks? Green onions, maybe? I like leeks but don't usually have them on hand.

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    Replies
    1. I just used a cup of chopped onions and it turned delish...

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    2. Trader Joe's sells clean frozen chopped leeks. I always keep an extra bag in the freezer :)

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    3. That's a great idea.....love Trader Joes!!

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  9. Looks delish, as always!! I had your crockpot chicken taco chili for lunch! DELISH! Thanks for sharing so many hours of your life with us!

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  10. I just bought a Butternut Squash just the other day at Sunflower Market. I am so glad I came across this post because now I know what I will do with it. Thanks so much for the idea!!!

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  11. I'm making this tonight! I love butternut squash... but have only roasted it... love your recipes Gina! You're making my weightloss journey that much easier! Much love <3

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  12. I wonder if we could use spaghetti squash for the pasta...
    Wouldn't that be amazing?

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    Replies
    1. That's what I plan to do this evening for dinner, a I had some spaghetti squash leftover from the other day! I am sure it will be so good with this butternut squash sauce over it!

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  13. I bought a butternut squash yesterday and had no idea what I would do with it.. Then I came across this recipe! Love the flavor combo of sage & parmesan!

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  14. This looks fantastic. Can't get ziplist to come up, but can't wait to try this.

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    1. oh good I was able to add now. I love that you are linked in with ziplist. such a neat feature!

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  15. I know it says 1/4 of recipe as a serving size but approximately how much is that?

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    1. I forget to measure the total in cups (didn't think it would be so good quite honestly), so it's basically dividing the pasta in 4 equal portions.

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  16. Every time I meet with BN squash, a mistake ensues. lol. This looks far better than any of my mistakes though!!

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  17. Gina - This looks delicious! What would the points plus value be just for the sauce without the pasta?

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    1. four servings at 2 points+ each

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  18. I made something similar recently, but I'm too lazy to peel and chop the squash and then clean out the blender. But I had a bumper crop of Butternuts in my garden, so I had to think of something using them that my husband would eat.

    So I cut a squash in half, cleaned out the seeds, and placed it cut-side down on a baking sheet. Baked in the oven till soft. Scooped out the meat of the squash and put it in a pan, thinning it with a good-size dollop of greek yogurt and some chicken broth and some of the pasta water, till it was the consistency I wanted. Then came the seasoning and adding in the cooked pasta and adding fresh-grated parmesan.

    Next time I'll follow Gina's recipe (because everything she makes is stellar!) except that I'll still bake the squash instead of making the blender puree.

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    1. I don't like boiling any of my veggies and squash is wonderful baked and scooped from the skin. Great recipe aside from that. I may even lightly toast the seeds and chop them for an extra crunch!

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  19. Just made this tonight -- thank you so much! It's so good.

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  20. I bought leeks and have homegrown butternut squash. This sounds wonderful. I'm going to make this tomorrow. Thanks so much for the delicious ideas.

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  21. I was determined to make this tonight, and I did but since I didn't want to make a special trip to the market. I substituted in a shallot, some leftover canned pumpkin, and a sprig of rosemary, and it was just lovely! It was such a generous portion too!

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  22. beautiful.... so glad leeks are coming back in season.

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  23. I tried this tonight and it was wonderful! I didn't have fresh sage and so I put dried sage in the water to cook the squash and pasta and it worked really well. It tasted great and was very filling. Thanks!

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  24. This will be making its way to my table very soon. You've hit so many things I adore: squash, leeks, pasta, and good cheese. And, I love the flavor combination of sage and butternut, or buttercup, squash. They really do compliment each other very well. Thanks for sharing!
    Anita
    theunabashedkitchenwench.blogspot.com

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  25. Wow,looks amazing! Do you know what the point plus value of just the sauce by chance??

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  26. Made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! Even my husband, a dedicated carnivore, didn't complain about meatless Monday!

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    1. Thanks Abby, my husband loved it too.

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  27. This came at the most perfect time! I have been craving pasta, but I was planning on making a roast tomorrow so that I could roast my butternut squash at the same time. Now I can just make this instead!

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  28. It would be so great to have a blender that wouldn't shiver at the thought of making my beloved banana soft-serve or even everyday smoothies with frozen fruit. I know that this fabulous blender would survive where others have feared to tread, or even, alas, met their demise. Burnout , begone! What a treat it would be to have this new tool to helpe on my journey to weight loss and better health.

    Thank you for your creative approach to delicious and healthy eating. Although I am 73, I'm not giving up my lifelong quest to optimize my health and weight. You've been such a great help!

    Sincerely,

    Dot

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  29. It seems that it would be much more simple to buy frozen butternut squash that is already pureed. Not sure the taste would be affected much. It would save the step of cooking the squash and cleaning a blender. Plus you can stock the frozen squash in your freezer for a future meal, unlike fresh.

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  30. In my rush at the store yesterday I could have sworn I was picking up a spaghetti squash but I unloaded my groceries when I got home and it turns out I have a butternut squash. Well heck, what am I going to do with that!?, I thought. And then I opened my email and have a recipe from you using butternut squash!

    Bingo! I'm going to give this a try this week. Thanks for preparing an idea for me. :)

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    1. I made this tonight and it was pretty good. I must confess, we are meat eaters! LOL So we thought it really needed some meat and maybe even a little spicy flavor (red pepper flakes, maybe?). I'm not sure I will make it again but it was definitely something I'm glad I tried. Thanks again!

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  31. Delicious recipe Gina- I love the pre-cut Butternut Squash from TJ's, I use it all the time to make butternut squash risotto!

    For this I would probably splurge on a bit more cheese, just because lol.

    I recently made a Pumpkin Alfredo Stuffed Shells recipe & trust me- the extra cheese is worth it! Every now and then it's worth it to indulge :)

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  32. I read this recipe yesterday, had a hair cut appointment after work, ran into grocery store next door to salon and got the ingredients. Went home and made this for dinner. Delicious! It's in my lunch bag as well.

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  33. This looks great, Gina! Almost like a much better for you version of Giada's brown butter sage sweet potato gnocchi (you have to make the gnocchi by hand, too, and it's bland without the brown butter but a little too rich with it). This will be a nice balance and good for weeknights!

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  34. Gosh, Gina, this looks completely amazing!! I love butternut squash...I have to make this soon!

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  35. Do you think you could use carnival squash for this? Got a bunch in my co-op and have no idea what to do with it.

    Thanks!!

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  36. I highly recommend sautéing the sage with pine nuts and adding brown sugar to the butternut squash sauce. I also use linguine noodles that I boil with vegetable bouillon to add flavor. Served with a piece of crusty bread, it is autumn heaven!

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  37. I REALLY want to make this for next week's Meatless Monday. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  38. Did I miss the response about subbing ground sage for the leaves? I can't find the leaves anywhere. How can I sub out the leaves?

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  39. This looks delicious! I love how it's creamy without using actual "cream". Yum!

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  40. Kara - I think Gina said she uses HALF the amount of fresh

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  41. I used dried sage and it came out great! A delicious dish without a lot of fat or sodium.

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  42. I made this tonight.... it's a lot different than anything I've ever had.... but sooooooo GOOD!! A perfect fall dinner. Gina, you are one talented cookie!!

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  43. Going to make this on Saturday, can't wait! Quick question, approximately how long does the squash take to cook? Thanks :)

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  44. This sounds wonderful! Going on the dinner menu!

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  45. Has anyone tried this sauce with Ravioli? I have some ravioli in my freezer I need to use, and this sauce intrigues me.

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  46. My bf doesnt do meatless! does anyone have any suggestions for a meat that would go good with this? Thanks Gina for all your delicious recepis, this looks soooo good!

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    1. Bacon or pancetta. Everything tastes better with bacon! Unfortunately the point would change.

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  47. I'm going to substitute the spaghetti for spaghetti squash and see how that works.... that will take ALOT of the points + out!! I can't wait to make this !!!

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  48. Made this tonight - and it was delicious! I have leftovers for my lunch tomorrow. Did it with Ronzoni's Healthy Harvest Wholegrain Thin Spaghetti. My husband is a meat eater, but thought it was very delicious and creamy. Definitely will be having this again!

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  49. Oh my goodness!! This was amazing. I used Dreamfield's angel hair pasta and it was so yummy. My 4 year old and 8 year old cleaned their plate!! If there are any squash haters out there, give this recipe a try. After you do, you will salivate every time you walk by a butternut squash in the produce section of your market, guaranteed!!

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  50. How long should I boil the pre cut squash for??

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  51. Kandi Woodwar10/24/12, 9:32 PM

    I made this tonight and it was amazing! Everyone loved it. I wish I had doubled the recipe. I can't say enough about it. My new favorite dish!

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  52. I made it last night, and it was amazing! Very tasty and filling. My husband even liked it, and did not ask where is the meat! I added chopped apples to it and it was crunchy, sweet and savory. Thanks for the recipe!

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  53. It was awesome! You were right, you would have sworn there was cream in it.

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  54. Oh My Lanta! So good. A accidentally used a whole leek, added some tomatillo to the puree for zing and homemade buttermilk to thin it out a bit. Amazing. I had left over sauce and took it as is for lunch. Forget the pasta, the sauce is great and filling on its own!

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  55. I just made this without pasta but with Spaghetti squash for the "Low Carb" effect....WOW! You can't even believe how good this is! Thanks Skinnytaste...you've changed my life in the kitchen!

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  56. I made this last night. My toddler and even the hubby loved it! I added some shredded chicken and used oregano instead of sage. YUM!!

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  57. Delish! However, when I entered the ingredients into my weight watchers etools, came out more like 10 pts plus (only difference, i used regular butter but 1 tbsp shouldn't make a 3 pt difference). Would love if you listed the brand cheese or tomato sauce you use when calculating pts for recipes.

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  58. I saw this recipe, knew I would never like it, but tried it because I wanted to make something different for dinner. This was delicious! The only complaint came from the husband because he likes very thin (to me, runny) sauce on his pasta but I see that someone else used buttermilk, so I may try that to only his serving next time because the other four of us thought it was perfect. I also added some chicken sausage because my husband is not to that point where a dish can be meatless. :) Wonderful!

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  59. This was soooooooooooo good!!!

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  60. Hi Gina,
    About how long does it take to boil the squash? Trying to plan my meal timing :) Thanks!

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  61. HOME RUN GINA! Made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic. I used about 2 tsp of rubbed sage b/c I didn't want to buy fresh just for this. We've enjoyed many of your recipes (in fact turkey meatloaf cupcakes are on the menu for tomorrow) and this is among your best. Well done, and thank you!

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  62. @anonymous, re: boiling the squash - I think it took about 15 or so minutes for me.

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  63. Just made this tonight!!! It was AWESOME!! Super easy too! Im working on becoming a vegetarian and this is a perfect recipe! Thanks Gina!!

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  64. Does this freeze ok?

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  65. Gina: I made this today. It was wonderful. I opted to go for the pre-cut squash. At 1.99 a lb for already cut and cubed it was ell worth it. As others mentioned, the sauce alone is delicious. May try it with a risotto or over some grits.

    Nancy

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  66. Yummy! I added some pancetta for the hubby and as usual - we both think it's a keeper :)

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  67. Gina, all your recipes are so spot on. I made this for dinner tonight and will have left-overs for lunch for a few days. It is delicious! Thank you!

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  68. Great recipe! Roasting the squash works great for sauces as well and it retains more flavor too.

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  69. I made this last night and it was so yummy! I thought it would be good but it was one of the best pastas i've ever made and the family gave it rave reviews!

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  70. Gina- this dish was amazing! I'm not a huge butternut squash fan but this combo is so creamy with out any cream. My husband and I had this tonight and will be making it again soon. Thank you for all your work and hope you and your family are safe and dry from Sandy.

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  71. Jocelyn in Long Beach, CA11/1/12, 1:00 AM

    OMG Gina! This was to die for!!!! The flavor combinations were amazing!! I used brown rice pasta and I only had cheap parmesan. . .I can't even imagine what this would be with the good stuff. It was my first time cooking with leeks and sage. Thank you for inspiring me!

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  72. As I was making this, I realized it could kinda be like a "mac and cheese" for my kids. I used a fiber-filled mini shell pasta and made sure there was plenty of cheese in it. It even looks like mac and cheese! I will update after I attempt to feed it to them for dinner (they're 3.5 yrs and almost 2 years old). Despite what they think about it, I will definitely be eating it for dinner! Thanks, Gina!

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    1. Success! I got my 3.5 year old to eat his entire portion and the almost-2-year-old would eat it when I fed it to him. :)

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  73. LOVED this. I made it and my picky 14 year old thought it was alfredo sauce. He ate 80% of the batch! I added a bit more cheese than called for because I love cheese and I used dried rubbed sage because I had no fresh sage and it turned out great. This will be made many, many times in my house this fall! So amazing!

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  74. Loved the recipe! Made it tonight and the kids loved it too! Next time I will double it for left overs :)

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  75. I forgot to add I didn't have sage so I used marjoram. It still tasted delicious!

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  76. Sammielicious11/2/12, 8:34 PM

    Oh my yumminess!! I cooked the leeks and garlic in some low sodium chicken stock,just to boost the flavor a bit. AMazing, THanks!

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  77. How far in advance could I make the puree do you think? I want to have this on Monday but it would be a rush after work. Can't wait to try it.

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  78. I made this last week and it was AMAZING! I am lazy, so I roasted the butternut squash and then just scraped the flesh out when it was soft. I forgot to save my pasta water, so I used low sodium chiken broth and I added cooked chicken for some extra protein. I'm definitely going to try it with spaghetti squash for a lower carb option.

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  79. This was wonderful! I had to add about a teaspoon of salt to the sauce to bump up the flavor to where I wanted it. With a sprinkle of crushed red pepper, it was delicious! I doubled the batch because I had 2 leeks and a 2 lb butternut squash and I am looking forward to defrosting the other half of the sauce and making this again next week!

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  80. I too realized that this could pass as a Mac and cheese dish and so that's how I introduced it to my kids. They loved it. The hubby and I did too. Delicious and easy. I also am grateful to one of the commenters that mentioned Trader Joe's sells sliced frozen leeks. I found them in my store and will put that great tip to future use too.

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    Replies
    1. hmm, mac and cheese. something to try!

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  81. I love all your recipes, but this is one of my favorites!! Very easy to make, very tasty and very filling!!!

    Hoping your power comes back on soon!!!!

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  82. I used my acorn squash that I had on hand and roasted it instead of boiling. I also added red pepper flakes. Hubby wanted some meat so I added a bit of crumbled hot Italian sausage just to his. It was amazing! Everyone loved!

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  83. I just made this and it was surprisingly good! Definitely a keeper.

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  84. Definitely a keeper! I made this tonight and it was a hit ... Even with the suspicious 5 year old! I sautéed the sage with the leeks and garlic, and next time I think I'll roast the squash. Thanks for another awesome recipe!

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  85. One word. Fabulous! It actually somehow tastes like a cream sauce without all the heaviness and calories!

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  86. SO GOOD! Hands down one of my favorite meals ever!

    I subbed Thyme for Sage because I had it on hand, and used an acorn squash... so a little different but it turned out PERFECT!

    Thank you!!

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  87. Hi Gina, Can't wait to try this recipe! Are there any suggestions you have for adding meat to the dish? My husband needs protein. Chicken, Shrimp, Sausage? Thanks, Lauren

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    Replies
    1. I have a similar recipe on here with sausage.

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  88. Hmm, my sauce didn't come out as good as everyone else's....Maybe because I microwaved and then blended? Was it because I left the skin out? Any ideas, anyone?

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  89. Made this tonight! Soooo Yummy!

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  90. Made this with Kuri squash. The sauce is great, but when we added the pasta it became really bland. Overall, this is a great new way for us to use a favorite ingredient, but as they say on Iron Chef, this wasn't the best use of the secret ingredient.

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    Replies
    1. I'm surprised you found it bland, probably just needed a little salt.

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  91. I was thinking the sauce would freeze well. To make big batches and then freeze. What do you think Gina?

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  92. Oh. Em. Gee. I made this last night and it was INCREDIBLE!! I was a little wary while making it but I knew you wouldn't steer me wrong, Gina. I used fresh linguine for us and small shells for my ten month old - he ate THREE SERVINGS of it!! Fettuccine Alfredo has always been my favourite meal (fat content doesn't count when it's your favourite meal) BUT I would choose to make this instead from now on - not even considering how much healthier it is!! Hubby even suggested I make it for his mother when she's in town next week :) Thanks, Gina, I'm down to my lowest weight since getting married just from using your recipes pretty much every night for the past few months!!!

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  93. This is so, so, so good. Have made it twice in two weeks! Only thing I changed was adding a squirt of lemon juice to cut the richness of the sauce a bi, and I had some fresh thyme on hand so I added that. Both times I made it, I ended up with extra sauce - it freezes beautifully! I can totally see making a big batch of the sauce and freezing it for a quick meal. Leftovers are also super yummy!

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  94. I made this the other night and it was so delicious! I couldn't believe how creamy and cheesy it was, like Alfredo. Definitely will make it again!

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  95. Do you think acorn squash would work instead of butternut? If yes, how many acorn squash should I use?

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    1. I think you can, but butternut is better.

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    2. I actually didn't have butternut so I used acorn squash and it still turned out yummy!

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  96. We didn't care much for this. It was improved by using feta cheese instead of parmesan. But won't be making again.

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  97. I made this the other night. It was so easy and delicious. I love butternut squash and was so happy to try this. I think next time I'll thin out the sauce a little more than I did and use chicken stock to add more flavor. Thanks for the recipe.

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  98. Made this tonight! Tasty good!

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  99. I made this with what I had on hand being dried sage and an acorn squash. It turned out amazing! Your recipes are not only awesome but versatile!

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  100. Gina, I LOVE every recipe that I have tried, but this one is my favorite! It is the creamy pasta I crave, with so much flavor! I bought pre-cut butternut squash from Whole Foods, which cut down on some of the prep time. The only adjustment I made was to use 1/4 c. grated parmesan, stirring 2 tbsp. into the sauce then sprinkling the remainder on top.

    My 9 month old also adores this--I cut up the pasta very small and pureed a bit.

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  101. Wow this looks amazing home run. Can't wait to try it!!!! Pasta heaven

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  102. We really enjoyed this (surprisingly - since hubby doesn't like "strange" veggies). His only problem was that it was meat free, so I guess next time we will try some shrimp (and mushrooms!). My mom is excited about a lactose free creamy pasta. Thanks so much!

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  103. Could you use Spaghetti Squash to lower the calories? My husband and I are trying to stay away from Pasta.

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  104. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!! I made this a few weeks ago and again today!! I really think this is my favorite squash pasta recipe! It is filling and SOOO flavorful!! I don't know how anyone can say anything bad about this recipe :)

    xoxo,
    Shio

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  105. Windy Schrag9/28/13, 6:35 PM

    I loved this and cant wait to make it, I was think about using Zucchini for the noodles??? Trying to stay away from pasta to!

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  106. So currently I have a broken hand and my husband of 50-something years old is learning to cook with direction from me. Tonight my husband successfully made this dish it was fantastic. I had pureed pumpkin from a pumpkin I cooked down last year. Worked great! Tasted great! In a pinch you could use canned pureed pumpkin.

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  107. Finally got a chance to make this. It was wonderful! The only change I would make next time is chop the sage smaller and add it to the squash while blending for more even distribution. While it sits waiting for the next step, the sage flavor would be more infused into the puree.

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  108. Made this tonight and it was delicious!

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  109. Looks awesome, can't wait to try! I love using Trader Joes already cut squash,it makes prep time quick! I've never used leeks before,is it similar to onion flavor?

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  110. This was so great. I also added some Shrimp! Delish!

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  111. I made this tonight and loved it. It was very filling yet did not sit heavy on my stomach as most pasta. The dish was a little to sophisticated for my kids taste however and I had to add half a jar of spaghetti sauce and some monterey jack cheese to theirs in order for them to eat it.

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  112. I made this last night, and it was AMAZING! Even my husband (who is a major carnivore) loved it and said it was the best recipe I had made from Pinterest yet! I also think grilled chicken or seared scallops would be yummy on top of the pasta if you did want to add some meat.

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  113. I wanted to make this using my own frozen squash puree. About how much puree does a 1lb squash make?

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  114. This was such an easy and delicious meal! I made it as directed the first time with GF noodles for my husband and I and we could barely stop eating it. The second time I made it with onions instead of leeks since I didn't have any on hand and us and our guests loved it! Thanks for the recipe!

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  115. This says 1lb butternut squash - do you know how many cups of purée that was? I have a whole squash and am hoping to use it to make a couple of recipes! Thanks!

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  116. Do u think u could substitute quinoa for the pasta? Or would that not work?

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