This pasta dish cannot decide if it wants to be a fall or spring dinner but since the weather here can’t make up it’s mind about what time of year is is either, it seems fitting. The butternut squash and warm flavors like sage and thyme are perfect for cold fall evenings but the bright peas, fresh spinach, and aromatic basil are everything you want in a springtime meal.
Truth be told, I’ve been putting off using this butternut squash for some time now, opting for more of the warm weather foods I’ve missed all winter. But rather than go to the store to buy more produce, I opted to utilize what I already had including the squash, some frozen peas, and some spinach that was on the downward slide from it’s peak of freshness. For protein, I used some frozen ground venison we had. This could be omitted for a delicious vegetarian meal, too.
Having zero ambition to get to the store for milk meant I had to get crafty with the sauce. I take about a third of the squash and blend it with turkey stock I made a couple months ago from our Thanksgiving bird and froze. Chicken stock would also work. I also add half a cup of parmesan to give it a creamier texture when it melts over the hot pasta.
After our last steak pasta dish, our boxed pasta supply was a little sparse. But having long decided I was not going to the store, I opted to make pasta. I had dough on hand that I thawed and rolled, but dry pasta would be just as good.
This is a great way to use up those squash you may have sitting around. A couple pantry staples like pasta, frozen peas, and stock help create a delicious and easy meal with incredible flavor. Try it and tell me about your favorite pasta dish below!
Creamy Butternut Squash Spaghetti with Venison
- 1 Medium Butternut Squash
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
- Garlic Powder
- 1 Lb. Ground Venison, Beef, or Turkey (Optional, omit if making vegetarian)
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (Omit if making vegetarian)
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste (Omit if making vegetarian)
- 3 Cups Chicken Stock
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan, plus additional for topping
- 12 Oz. Spaghetti
- 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas
- Handful of Spinach
- Fresh Basil
Preheat the oven to 425. Peel and chop the butternut squash and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, sage, thyme, nutmeg, and garlic powder. Toss the squash to thoroughly cover with oil and spices and bake for about 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Depending on the size of your squash pieces, it may need to cook longer.
In a large skillet heat the rest of the olive oil over medium heat and add your ground meat, if using. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon sage and thyme. Brown the meat then add the worcestershire and tomato paste.
Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Season the water with salt and add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.
Meanwhile, add 2 cups of the cooked butternut squash to a blender along with the chicken stock and parmesan. Blend until smooth and pour over the venison. Add the pasta and the rest of the butternut squash along with the peas and spinach and toss everything to combine. Top with additional cheese and basil and enjoy!