Gluten Free Pasta in a Creamy Butternut Squash and Cheese Sauce
Spoil the gluten free people in your life with quinoa pasta baked in a butternut squash gorgonzola and mozzarella cheese sauce with bacon and fried sage.
Actually - spoil everyone in your life with this dish, not just the gluten-free. Because quinoa pasta is the bomb. Especially when smothered in cheesy, butternut squash sauce, punctuated with chunks of bacon and topped with fried sage.
I've talked about my slight wheat intolerance a few times on this blog. But for many of you scrolling through all the recipes here in which wheat is a staple ingredient, it might come as a surprise. Relatively speaking to most households of our size, we go through a lot of wheat flour.
And by "a lot"... I store the stuff in a 14-quart container that gets a refill about every 10 days. Much of that flour gets used up as I work out recipes for this blog. But, I also genuinely believe in cooking from scratch as much as possible.
For me, that means that homemade bread, crackers, tortillas and pizza are a staple. You will rarely find their store-bought counterpoints in our home. What you will find in our cupboards most of the time is a box or two of pasta.
My good friend Judy is a pasta making queen, who has recently inspired me to make a few batches from scratch. Homemade pasta is delicious, especially hers. But, I'm not quite ready to abandon the convenience of a box of pasta, especially when it's made from something other than wheat. Because...
Wheat flour and I aren't always on great terms.
I can go months without being bothered by wheat flour, as long as I limit my intake. But, from time to time, for reasons still unknown to me, wheat decides that we are not friends and launches an attack. Knowing this can happen, I am a huge fan of using gluten free pasta - if it tastes like pasta. <-- Key words, right there.
I have tried several varieties of non-wheat based, gluten free pasta over the years and most of the time I find it "pretty good for gluten free pasta." So then I have to ask myself - is "pretty good" even worth it?
My Instagram bio reads, Life is to short to eat crappy food, and I mean it. When it comes to the balance between health and taste, I want everything I put in my mouth to be worth it.
This Gluten Free Butternut Squash Pasta is worth it. Times a million.
The organic gluten free pasta I used to make this dish is quinoa based, which means that it's considerably higher in protein and fiber than traditional wheat-based pasta. But, most importantly - it has both the flavor and consistency of good pasta.
The pasta is then coated in a puree of roasted butternut squash, fresh mozzarella and gorgonzola, tossed with chunks of bacon, covered in more mozzarella, and baked. Right before serving, fry a few sage leaves in butter until crispy and delicious and toss them on top.
Butternut squash + gorgonzola + bacon + sage = ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
This Pasta Bake scales up or down with ease.
This recipe serves 12, but easily scales up or down. The dish somehow manages to be both rustic and elegant, making it perfect for casual family dinners and dinner parties.
Making dinner for a family of 4? Cut the recipe in half and bake in a 8 or 9-inch baking dish. Hosting a holiday party? Double or triple the recipe. When pureeing the butternut squash sauce in the food processor, mix in batches.
You can also assemble the entire dish ahead of time, storing it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.
Other Recipes you might like:
- Four Cheese Stuffed Shells with Chili Smoked Salmon
- Gluten Free Caramel Cake with Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream
- Gluten Free Double Chocolate Cinnamon Ricotta Muffins
- Gluten Free Blueberry Crisp
Gluten Free Butternut Squash Pasta with Gorgonzola, Bacon, and SagePrint
- 3 lbs. (approximately 5 heaping cups) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb (16 oz.) pasta TresOmega Gluten Free Quinoa Pasta
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 8 oz gorgonzola cheese + 2 oz for topping
- 1 lb (16oz) fresh mozzarella
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 ½ lbs thick cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg and cayenne (⅛-1/4 teaspoon of each)
- 1 tsp each salt and pepper
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 8 oz. mozzarella, shredded
FOR THE FRIED SAGE LEAVES:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 bunch fresh sage
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- Toss squash with olive oil and about 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, approximately 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Fill a large saucepan with water, add a tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta until slightly underdone - about 7 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- In a food processor, add the squash, eggs, gorgonzola, fresh mozzarella, and milk. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp but not burned. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon to a plate covered in a couple of layers of paper towels.
- Pour all but 1 tbs of bacon fat from the pan. (Do not pour bacon fat down the drain. Pour into a bowl, allow to cool, and then scrape into the trash.)
- Add 1 tablespoon butter to the bacon fat and heat over medium until melted. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.
- Add butternut squash puree and chicken broth to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Remove sauce from heat and stir in pasta. Pour the entire mixture into the buttered baking dish. Cover with shredded mozzarella and 2 oz gorgonzola.
- Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling up around the edges of the pan.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before serving, while you fry the sage: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sage leaves. Cook, flipping every few seconds, until the sage is darkened, but not burned. Top the baked butternut squash pasta with the sage leaves and serve.
- Prep Time: 60 mins
- Cook Time: 60 mins
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by TresOmega Nutrition and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. While I was not compensated for my time, I did receive free product samples. As always, all opinions are my own.
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