Healthy, vegetarian pasta with loads of vegetables (squash, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach) which you can either roast or fry. Whichever way you choose, the result will be yummy.
Pasta with Squash = Love
It was almost like love at first sight.
Some time ago, I tried pasta with pumpkin and mushrooms fried on plenty of butter. There was also double cream added to it for extra taste, and I fell for it completely.
But just as it sometimes happens with falling in love, after the first euphoria common sense takes over. In the case of that wonderful pasta, it was about fat content.
I knew I had to keep my cholesterol level under control which meant I couldn’t have this dish as often as I would have liked…
Pasta with Squash, Mushrooms and Spinach – Two Ways of Preparation, Always One Great Result
So I had only one option: to come up with a healthier but still delicious dish. What I didn’t know then is that I would come up with two ways of making this yummy pasta dish!
I didn’t know either that I would not be able to decide which one was tastier. And that is the reason why in the end I decided to include both methods of making this Pasta with Squash, Mushrooms and Spinach.
If you – just like me – don’t know which one to choose, I can give you some hints.
If you prefer to have a very healthy option and an almost-straight-from-the-oven-to-the-table dish, choose the Roasting Method.
But if you have more time to be involved in cooking and you are not so concerned about a bit of fat (as it does use a little butter), choose the Frying Method.
However, the truth is that whichever option you decide on, you will be very happy with this Pasta with Squash, Mushrooms and Spinach!*
* But if you, after all, prefer pasta with pumpkin in a creamy sauce, you may want to try this delicious dish with shrimps.
Pasta with Squash, Mushrooms and Spinach
A pasta dish with squash, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach that can be prepared either by ROASTING or FRYING.
- 1 butternut squash (weighing approx. 1 kg), peeled, seeds removed and cut into 2 cm cubes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 250 g mushrooms (champignons), cut into quarters
- 350 g cherry tomatoes halved,
- 2 garlic cloves minced,
- 250 g spinach
- 2 tsp thyme
- 400 g pasta preferably tagliatelle or pappardelle
- salt and pepper.
- grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- 2 tbsp butter (for the Frying Method only)
METHOD 1 - ROASTING:
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees (fan).
Place the cubes of butternut squash on a big baking tray, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil over them, sprinkle with salt and pepper, mix well (you can do it with your hands) and put to the hot oven for 20 minutes.
Take the baking tray out of the oven, move the squash around in case it got stuck to the bottom of the tray; push to one side; add the mushrooms and the tomatoes. Season, pour 1 tbsp o olive oil over the added vegetables and put back to the oven for further 20 minutes.
Approx. 5-10 minutes before the vegetables are done, cook the pasta per packet instruction. Keep half a cup of cooking water before you drain the cooked pasta.
In a big frying pan heat the 1 tbsp olive oil, add the garlic, spinach and fry only till wilted.
Add the roasted vegetables and thyme, season.
Pour a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to the baking tray in which vegetables were roasted and deglaze it. You can do it by moving a spatula to dissolve the brown residue from the bottom of the tray – this way you will get some extra flavour.
Pour the sauce to the pan with the vegetables, stir and mix gently with the cooked pasta.
Serve with grated or shaved Parmesan cheese.
METHOD 2 - FRYING:
In a big frying pan heat up 1 tbsp of each: oil and butter, add the mushrooms and fry them (stirring occasionally) for 5-7 minutes until golden, put aside.
In the same frying pan heat up 1 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp of butter, add the cubed squash and thyme, fry on a medium heat for 15-17 minutes making sure the squash doesn’t burn. If it starts sticking too much, you may add a bit of boiled water.
Just before the squash is ready, cook the pasta per packet instruction. Keep half a cup of cooking water before you drain the cooked pasta.
Add the tomatoes to the squash and fry for 5 minutes more.
In another frying pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add the garlic, spinach and fry only till wilted.
Transfer the wilted spinach to the pan with the other vegetables, season and mix gently with the cooked pasta. If the dish is a bit too dry, you may add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
Serve with grated or shaved Parmesan cheese.