I may not be 100% ready to say goodbye to the summer heat and sunshine, but am fully ready to embrace all the yummy fall flavors and scents. Last night I made butternut squash pasta carbonara, a family favorite (6 out of 7 of us anyway!) this time of year, and wanted to share the recipe with you along with a list of other dinner ideas. My hope is that the list below helps inspire and make October meal planning a cinch!
Warm and cozy fall comfort foods, here we come!
PASTA CARBONARA WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUCE, takes 45 mins + serves 4-6
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash, about 1 small squash
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons dried or fresh sage, optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg (or more to taste)
- 1-14oz can chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (1/2 + 1/2 or whole milk)
- 8 (or more slices) of bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
- 16oz. pasta of choice (linguini pictured)
- Chop squash (here’s a handy video), onion and garlic and cook noodles according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining and set aside (for sauce if needed). Cook bacon as desired and set aside.
- To make the sauce, heat oil in a large stockpot and add squash, onion and garlic. Add sage (optional), salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a light boil for another 10 minutes. Stir in cream and remove from heat. Use an emersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools– so handy for soups and sauces and easy to clean!!!) to cream sauce or use a regular blender (just be sure to only fill 1/2 way when working with hot liquids so may need to blend in batches). If needed, add more chicken stock or pasta water to thin sauce.
- In the large stockpot, toss together noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Dish onto plates and top with bacon and parmesan.
Anytime red sauce or pesto are involved my pasta of choice is usually penne so it’s easier and less messy for the kids to eat, but this butternut sauce is the perfect color and consistency for slurping, twirling and finger eating!
A list of 12 dinners that will be on rotation at our house this October below…
12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN OCTOBER
- tuna melt sandwiches (a spruced up version by pioneer woman)
- burrito or quinoa bowls
- baked potato or sweet potato bar (easy to bake ahead of time too!)
- make your own pizza night!* (or take and bake)
- mongolian beef + broccoli with rice (or try this paleo recipe!)
- quesadillas with arugula quinoa salad and steak, salami or grilled chicken (toss arugula, cherry tomatoes, pine or other nuts/seeds, meat pesto and parmesan together– so good!)
- mini turkey meatloaves
- butternut carbonara (recipe above!)
(*perfect for halloween!)
What’s your favorite fall dinner?
Feeling so much better today…. thanks for all the well wishes! You guys are the best!