Fall Comfort Food: Butternut Squash and Shrimp Pasta Bake

 

Last year, I experimented using prepared Creamy Butternut Squash boxed soup as an ingredient for a pasta dish. I was quite pleased with the way that it turned out and the shortcut that I discovered with the experiment. I’d like to say I make everything homemade, but sometimes, as a mom shortcuts are just necessary.

I basically doctored up the prepared soup and used it as a sauce for this pasta dish. Sometimes cooking with butternut squash intimidates me, or I just don’t have the time to spend roasting it then turning into soup, so I found that this was a great way to get around that. The combined flavors of the butternut squash, nutmeg, spinach and shrimp really put this dish over the top. My husband loved it so much he requested it be served as a side dish on Thanksgiving. I’ll have to make sure to make it again for him soon. Enjoy!


Creamy Butternut Squash and Shrimp Pasta Bake

Recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 TB olive oil
3-4 large shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped small
1 32 oz carton Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (I used Pacific Natural Foods Organic brand)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
fresh ground pepper
1 10 oz carton frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained well
1/3 cup fontina cheese, shredded (if you can’t find fontina, mozzarella is fine)

1/2 lb whole wheat penne pasta
water
salt

Cooking Instructions:

Bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook until al dente 10-12 minutes.

While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Add peeled and deveined shrimp and cook until pink, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside.

In same skillet, add shallots, garlic and chopped red pepper. Add pinch of salt and pepper, oregano and thyme. Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat until softened. Add two teaspoons tomato paste to cooked vegetables and cook for about a minute longer. Add the Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and nutmeg and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer sauce for about 5 minutes until slightly thicker and flavors have combined. Taste for salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine cooked and slightly cooled pasta, shrimp, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Gently stir until slightly combined. Add sauce to pasta mixture and continue to combine. Add 3/4 of the amount of sauce.

Pour pasta mixture into a glass casserole dish sprayed with non stick spray. Spread pasta mixture evenly throughout dish and add the remaining amount of sauce to the top of pasta. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top of pasta and place in oven preheated to 375 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

 

Try out more of Babble’s 16 Seasonal Squash Recipes!

 

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