Instead of the same old red sauce, try adding fiber and flavor to pasta with naturally sweet cubes of tender butternut squash. Rich and nutty winter squash, like butternut, Hubbard and acorn, are one of fall’s most delicious vegetables and their flavors often pair wonderfully with bright, citrusy sage. This streamlined recipe highlights the classic fall combination.
Fiber is key for keeping things moving in and through your gut. Butternut squash contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber holds onto water and turns into gel during digestion, slowing down the process and allowing for greater nutrient absorption. Insoluble fiber is not digestible, but it speeds up the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines, and may reduce your risk for colon cancer. What better way to incorporate more fiber into your healthy eating plan than tucking a hearty portion into creamy, cheesy pasta?
You can easily pull dry pasta out of the pantry, but refrigerated fresh pasta transforms this dish from good to great. And, since the typical container size for store-bought fresh pasta is 9 ounces to serve three, we stretch the serving size — and increase the fiber — with the hefty addition of an entire quart of cubed squash. It comes together with creamy ricotta cheese and just enough meaty bacon to make the flavors pop.
This Italian-inspired dish is big on decadent flavor, low on effort and a heaping bowl comes in at less than 500 calories a portion. Buon appetito, y’all.
Butternut Squash and Ricotta Pasta
Butternut squash is now widely available pre-cubed in grocery stores, making for an even shorter prep time. If you want to chop your own, Hubbard, kabocha and acorn squash may be used as well.
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