Spinach & Butternut Squash Tortellini

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With the leaves changing and the days getting shorter, there’s nothing like a delicious home-cooked meal made with fresh squash to celebrate the beginning of Fall.  With squash becoming more abundant at the local farmer’s market, I can’t wait to start cooking! Not only is squash a highly versatile vegetable, but it is also highly nutritious!

Just 1 cup of butternut squash alone has over 450% of your daily Vitamin A requirement, which is actually a nutrient of concern in the United States. In addition to having plenty of Vitamin A, butternut squash also yields plenty of Vitamin C, potassium,Vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, niacin, thiamine, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic acid, and more!

Nourish your body by getting more of this delicious orange vegetable into your diet. Remember, it’s important to consume a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day, so you can reap the benefit of getting a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals into your diet!

I hope that you enjoy this recipe, and please feel free to share any comments or pictures with me after you make this! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash
  • 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk (or any kind of milk will work fine)
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1 package of  cheese tortellini
    (I used a lower-sodium Barilla 3-cheese tortellini with no preservatives — and I promise that one day when I get a pasta roller I will revise this recipe with directions to make tortellini from scratch!)
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika 
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt, to taste (maybe a dash)

Directions: 

  1. Get a large pot and fill about half of it with water. Heat the pot by stovetop on a medium-high setting to boil the water. While you are waiting for the pot to boil, proceed to step 2 where we will begin preparing our butternut squash.
    -Be sure to check on the water occasionally, so it does not boil over when you are not looking.

  2. First, begin by carefully removing the stem and the base from 1 large butternut squash. Next, carefully cut it in half with a large knife. Scoop out and discard the seeds and the pulp from the squash. Then, carefully cut both halves of the squash into 2″ cubes. 
    *Hint: The exact size of the cubes doesn’t matter so much, as long as the cubes are fairly even in size*

  3. Add the squash cubes to the pot of boiling water, and cover. Cook the squash for about 15 minutes, or until you can pierce the squash with a fork.

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  4. Once the squash is ready, turn the heat off of the pot. Using a slotted spoon, very carefully transfer the squash to a blender or a food processor. Blenderize or pulse the squash until it has been completely pureed. You may need stir the squash with a spatula occasionally, to ensure that everything purees evenly.

  5. Next, take the pot that you were just using to cook the squash and dump out the water. Add the squash puree to the pot, plus 1 cup of milk. Mix the squash and the milk together, and turn the heat on to medium. 
  6. Slowly begin to stir the spices in to the mixture, being sure to taste test the squash along the way — add additional spices to your taste preference. Let the squash puree mixture heat for a couple of minutes over the medium heat, while stirring occasionally.  
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  7. Once the squash begins to lightly bubble, add 3 cups of fresh spinach to the top of the squash. Cover the pot, and remove it from the heat. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, covered and untouched.

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  8. While you are waiting for the squash to sit, cook your tortellini pasta. Most packaged tortellini  pastas will require about 10 minutes of boiling time before they are ready.

  9. When the tortellini is ready, drain the water from the pot and add the tortellini to the squash mixture. Stir the pot, making sure to evenly coat the tortellini with the butternut squash mixture.

  10. Transfer the entree to a large serving dish. (I used a 2.5 quart ceramic dish) 
    Sprinkle a bit of additional oregano on top of the entree for garnish, and a little extra flavor.

  11. Serve warm, and ENJOY!!!

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Nutrition Facts per serving: (Yields about 6 servings)

Calories: 293

Total Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g
Trans Fat: 0 g

Sodium: 449 mg
Potassium: 531 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 45 g
Dietary Fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 4 g

Protein: 11 g

Vitamin A: 293% DV
Vitamin C: 41% DV
Calcium: 19% DV
Iron: 16% DV