Meatless Monday: Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Cavatappi

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I watched none of the Super Bowl. Unless half-time counts.

I didn’t even know who was playing in the Super Bowl until the cashier at the grocery store asked me who I was rooting for. I guess the football platter gave away the fact that I was hosting. Or maybe it was the chicken wings. Or the case of beer. Or the wing sauce. Or the chips. It certainly wasn’t the apples, peanut butter, star fruit, or mango…but those were on our Super Bowl menu, too. The fruit paired perfectly with the sangria I whipped up 😉 (recipe soon!)

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I had to, unfortunately, head back to the grocery store a second time.

You see, I had purchased (8 lbs!!) frozen chicken wings (uncooked)…and left them on the kitchen counter. I awoke at 6am on Sunday morning, darted from bed and down the stairs and my stupidity was confirmed. I had left the chicken wings out all night. They still felt cold…but I just couldn’t risk it. I went to the grocery store and could only find the WHOLE wing, so I was left to separate them — a task that most certainly takes away from the ignorant bliss of knowing exactly what a chicken wing looks like and consists of in its most natural state.

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Meat just isn’t forgiving with time or temperature. It’s costly and requires care to prepare properly…much unlike the butternut squash I’ve had in my fridge from my last CSA delivery in…November? MONTHS that squash survived, and it was just as good the day I cut into it for this pasta as it was the day it was delivered (I think). Winter squashes are so forgiving in that way.

Thumbing through my Cooking Light, this recipe jumped off the page. Not only was it the fact that I had on hand most all of the basic ingredients, but that it called for a new-to-me shape of pasta. Those curlicues trap in all that squash and blue cheese goodness, that’s for sure!

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Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Cavatappi from Cooking Light

4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/3lbs)
2 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
8 oz uncooked cavatappi
1 cup (~1/2) onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 large egg yolks
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Combine squash, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 F for 24 minutes or until tender, stirring once.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta; keep warm.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in 1/2 cup milk, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine remaining 1/2 cup milk, flour, and yolks in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Slowly add egg mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently with a whisk.

Combine squash, pasta, and milk mixture in a large bowl; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts.

Yield: 5 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 346 calories; 11.4 g. fat; 96 mg. cholesterol; 420 mg. sodium; 51.0 c. carbohydrate; 2.0 g. fiber; 12.6 g. protein

Result: Great flavors with the savory blue cheese and sweet butternut squash. The pasta shape is so fun…especially for kids, or just something different! However, I am unable to find the cavatappi shape in a whole wheat variety. Nonetheless, this was a low calorie meal and enjoyed by even Mr. P!

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 Stayed up too late…*yawn*!!

Be well,

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14 Comments

  1. February 4, 2013 / 6:55 am

    I can’t wait to try this! I’ll sub goat cheese for the blue (tried to like blue, just can’t!) The goat should pair well with the squash and walnuts still!

  2. February 4, 2013 / 7:30 am

    Oh don’t you just hate it when you have to let REALLY GOOD food go to waste?! Ugh. But, like you said, it wasn’t worth the risk. Especially with poultry. Ugh.
    This recipe sounds wonderful. Nick and I were talking about our love for blue cheese this weekend, so this is the perfect recipe!

  3. February 4, 2013 / 8:22 am

    I totally would have risked it.
    What can I say? I like living on the edge.

  4. February 4, 2013 / 10:06 am

    I went to the grocery store once yesterday and it actually wasn’t too bad, but I definitely would not have ventured out a second time.

  5. February 4, 2013 / 11:02 am

    You poor thing!!
    I have been there before!
    But I am sure you had the most amazing spread! I watched about 30 minutes of the game including half time show. My family didn’t do their usual big party so it was so much more low key. I did tune into the Puppy Bowl for a bit! Love it!!

  6. February 4, 2013 / 12:02 pm

    That sucks about the chicken 🙁 If it was cold I probably would have stuck with it, but with guests over, you just never know.

    My brother and sister hate meat on the bone – so does my daughter – every time Hannah was in the kitchen with me when I butterflied a whole chicken I thought she was going to throw up!

  7. February 4, 2013 / 1:22 pm

    Love this recipes…I made it a while ago, but with a different pasta shape since I couldn’t find the one called for (which is so cute…will have to look for it!) So tasty, such great flavors! 🙂

  8. February 4, 2013 / 7:39 pm

    Cavatappi is the best pasta shape ever! This looks amazing…will probably use goat cheese or feta in place of the blue. A perfect winter pasta dish!

  9. February 9, 2013 / 11:56 am

    It was great!

  10. February 11, 2013 / 2:27 pm

    This sounds amazing! I love butternut in pasta– so creamy and comforting… and blue cheese is one of my favorites! Perfection.

  11. February 15, 2013 / 1:52 pm

    This looks sooo good! For a second I thought the butternut squash was buffalo chicken…but it sounds even better meatless! We are actually getting really into Meatless Mondays, and will be sharing this post on our facebook page on Monday. It’s our special President’s Day Meatless Monday edition 🙂 Please stop by and say hello! facebook.com/CastelloUSA

  12. Pingback: Pasta Dishes

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