One-Skillet Butternut Alfredo Baked Fusilli
You know how sometimes you just want to make ONE MEAL, then eat it the entire week?
This butternut alfredo fusilli is for those times.
You can also make it on a lazy Sunday for friends, or on a particularly hungry (hangry?) Monday night. But if I had to choose just one way for you to eat, I’d tell ya to enjoy this in small, deliberate doses.
The thing about a pasta like this is that it’s crazy indulgent on its own — So buttery, so velvety, so “EXTRA”, because people say that now. But if you enjoy it across several mini servings, the level of indulgence significantly lessens.
Like, think of this served next to a pile of greens, charr-roasted chicken, or even salmon — It suddenly seems healthier, doesn’t it?
I love that trick.
Now obviously I fully support your prerogative to inhale this as quickly as possible. But the taste, texture, even the smell is so deeply rich and flavorsome, you won’t need more than a gentle serving to be satisfied.
You might want to eat more, but that’s another story.
You start by steaming cubed butternut squash until tender, then puréeing it in a processor or blender. Next prep the gruyère cheese sauce, which is made with a basic roux, a mix of heavy cream + skim milk, and loads of chee. What I like about using a dose of skim milk is that it lightens up the sauce while still maintaining a velvety, creamy texture, so it’s like the best of both worlds. The puréed butternut is eventually added here, as is a dash of cayenne + nutmeg for an awesome hint of spice. And once you’re happy with the taste of your sauce, simply toss in the fuslli and you’re practically done.
To prevent the pasta from developing a gummy texture while cooking you can add extra milk and cream so that the noodles are nearly submerged with sauce — They can stick out a bit, but you want them mostly covered. After the pasta is cooked sprinkle crumbled butter crackers + more shredded gruyère on top, then bake until golden and bubbly.
In just 15 minutes, you’ll be shoveling this to the face.
If you’re one of those people who are always scanning menus for butternut pasta specials — hi, me! — then this is primed to be your new obsession. It’s crazy easy to make, and with a taste that’s like restaurant-quality cuisine in the comfort of your own home. Plus, this pasta gives you all those delicious fall feels (comforting, cozy, homey, you know it) in a way that’s totally over the top, yet worth every damn noodle.
And if I’m being completely honest — It vaguely looks like a pot of gold, am I right?!
Yep — definitely golden.
One Skillet Butternut Alfredo Baked Fusilli
- 1 lb butternut squash, cubed
- 2 tbsps salted butter
- 2 tbsps flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, + more if needed
- 3/4 cup low-fat milk, + more if needed
- 2 cups gruyère cheese, shredded
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- a pinch of salt & pepper
- 8 oz fusilli pasta
- a few drizzles extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup butter crackers for topping (optional)
- fresh sage (optional)
- Steam the butternut squash in a covered steamer basket until tender, ~20 minutes. Transfer to food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
- In large oven-proof skillet melt the butter over a medium flame, then whisk in the flour to create a roux. Next stir in the heavy cream and the skim milk, allowing the mixture to gently bubble. Once bubbling, whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the gruyère cheese until thick and smooth, then lastly stir in the puréed butternut squash. Season with cayenne, nutmeg, and salt & pepper, then add in the fusilli. Use a healthy drizzle of EVOO while stirring in the pasta, and add more cream and milk at this stage (if needed) to amply submerge the pasta in sauce. Once you’re satisfied, cover the skillet and allow the pasta to cook for 12-15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
- Once the pasta is cooked to al dente (or slightly more tender, if you prefer) crumble the butter crackers atop the skillet, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup gruyère cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbling and the top begins to brown, then eat! Garnish with fresh sage when serving, if desired.