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These Butternut Alfredo Zoodles Will Change Your Opinion of Squash

Spiralizers provide a ton of possibilities (seriously, just look at all these) but creating zoodles is far and away the most popular way to use this genius kitchen tool. That's because zucchini is the perfect pasta substitute. It has a little bite to it, similar to al dente pasta, and it soaks up flavor from a sauce like a sponge. For this vegan recipe, developed by Nicole Centeno of Splendid Spoon, the zucchini is left raw, so it's extra crisp. This recipe is ideal for spaghetti lovers who are watching their carb intake, anyone who has trouble getting in their servings of vegetables, or anyone who's gluten-free or Paleo.

Yes, zoodles are all that, but zucchini isn't the only squash that makes an appearance in this recipe. This thick, creamy butternut squash Alfredo is made without an ounce of dairy. Smashing steamed butternut squash with the back of a spoon rather than running it through a blender gives the sauce a slightly chunky texture. Butternut squash is high in beta-carotene and antioxidants (and lends itself well to healthy mac and cheese). Since it's in season in the fall, you can choose to use frozen instead of fresh. This dish is topped with toasted pine nuts, which complement the sauce's sweet flavor with a hint of rich earthiness. It's so tasty, you'll almost forget that you're essentially eating an entire meal made (mostly) of squash.

Butternut Alfredo with Zoodles

Active Prep: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes (or 2 10-oz packages frozen butternut squash purée)
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight, water drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Toasted pine nuts, for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Steam butternut squash in a steamer basket until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Combine cashews and 1/2 cup water in a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth, then set aside.
  3. Sauté shallots in olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat until very soft.
  4. Stir in nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne and sea salt.
  5. Add cashew cream and butternut squash, and stir to combine.
  6. Remove from heat and mash the mixture to create a chunky sauce-like consistency. Add a bit of water if necessary.
  7. Toss with zoodles and top with toasted pine nuts and freshly ground black pepper.

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