Wednesday, December 23, 2015

HEALTHY CHRISTMAS EVE BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA

One of my favorite things to do is to make recipes "Nikki-fied", which usually means, add a healthier kick to it. I do this all the time. It may be me being stubborn and a perfectionist, it may be me being a health nut, it may be me wanting a reason to make a new blog post, the world may ever know. However, I do know that I love butternut squash and pasta.


On Christmas Eve, my family likes to make Italian-style food. Perhaps it's because the food we eat on Christmas day is so Americanized. Perhaps it's because pasta food is such a comfort food for a cold December night. Either way, it's a tradition I don't mind. I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it instantly stuck out to me. Pasta, gorgonzola, bacon, butternut squash, pasta... it's all heavenly to me.

The first step was to make the sauce. The sauce is a rich butternut squash sauce. The first step is to roast the butternut squash with garlic.



When it was almost done, I started sizzling the pasta toppings in a sautee pan. I replaced bacon with turkey bacon, and added sun dried tomatoes.


After the squash and garlic were tender, I took it out. I don't love too much garlic, so I minced it after roasting. Then, I added both to a food processor. 


In a bowl, I whisked light cream instead of heavy cream, nonfat greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, 3/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, and low sodium chicken stock.

 

I got the squash processing away while adding my dairy mixture in through the tube.


Then, according to the recipe, I cooked the pasta according to bag instructions. My replacement here was organic linguine for regular linguine. The instructions called the save some pasta water to loosen up the sauce. However, since I used nonfat greek yogurt and my diced tomatoes were more watery, I didn't need to. 
I combined the pasta, sauce, and topping, and boom!



Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light cream
  • 1 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium-sized butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 16 oz of linguine
  • 6 strips of turkey bacon
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil 
Directions:
1. Roast the cubed butternut squash and garlic in an oven set to 375 for 40 minutes
2. Sautee 6 cut turkey bacon slices and 1/4 cup cut sun dried tomatoes in a sautee pan on medium 
3. Whisk light cream instead of heavy cream, nonfat greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, 3/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, and low sodium chicken stock in a bowl to make a thick liquid mixture.
4. When squash and garlic are done, put it in a food processor or hard blender.
5. While squash and garlic are processing, add in the liquid mixture through the tube.
6. Cook 16 oz organix linguini according to package instructions.
7. Mix together and garnish with more gorgonzola cheese.
8. Enjoy!

** note that sauce ingredients will make enough sauce for 3 pounds of pasta. Make it all and freeze for leftovers, or lower amounts**





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