Butternut Squash Spaghettini


November 30, 2010 by Dana

On the off chance that you aren’t absolutely positively 100% over Thanksgiving, I’m going to tell you how much I love it.

I love that there are more sticks of butter in the food than people at the table.

I love that I can eat far more food than necessary and chalk it up to getting into the holiday spirit.  (Hey, I’m just showing how thankful I am for all this delicious food.)

And, most of all, I love that I know exactly what’s going to be on the table a year in advance.  Without exception, I know that there will be butternut squash soup, creamed spinach, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, homemade gravy, and of course, turkey.

We may have the occasional impromptu addition to the meal, but under no circumstances will anything be omitted from that list.  Ever.  It’s like an unwritten law.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from my mom saying that she was doing away with the squash soup and making a Butternut Squash Spaghettini that she saw Mario Batali make on Good Morning America instead.

What?!? But we have to have squash soup!  It’s tradition!

My mom went on to explain that since my brother is a vegetarian, she wanted to make something a little more substantial for him to have instead of turkey.  And it was silly to make butternut squash soup and butternut squash pasta.  Which definitely makes sense.  But still.

Luckily, my stepdad is not one for change.  His response was sort of like mine.  Multiplied by 1000.

Needless to say, we had the soup…. and the Butternut Squash Spaghettini.


2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
1 pound (whole wheat) spaghettini
1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Mario’s original recipe calls for anchovies as well.  Clearly, this defeats the purpose of making a vegetarian dish, so we omitted them.  Feel free to add them back in. Or not.  The recipe definitely didn’t feel like anything was lacking without them.


1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.

2. In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic are softened.

3. Turn the heat up to high and add the squash cubes. Toss over high heat for 5 minutes, until the cubes are browned at the edges. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

4. Cook the spaghettini in the boiling water according to the package directions, until tender yet al dente.

5. Return the squash mixture to the heat, drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Add the parsley and remaining olive oil and toss over high heat 1 minute. Top pasta with breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

I have to admit, I’m glad my mom wanted to change things a little this year.  This pasta dish was so delicious!  Not that it could replace the soup, but it definitely was a great addition.  And really, who doesn’t need some extra carbs at Thanksgiving??

*I’m submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast this week.

28 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Spaghettini

  1. I have two comments
    1) Everything tastes good in Nanny’s bowl
    2Pete is not one for change…………Ha!

    You forgot to add that butternut squash soup was really only a recent addition itself, funny how that has become part of the tradition.

    Love you…….,more sticks of butter than there are people! Love it.

  2. Faith says:

    Lol, I’m glad you got to have the soup and this pasta! Definitely the best of both worlds! :)

  3. RavieNomNoms says:

    Haha I know how you feel about tradition…it feels so wrong with things get changed doesn’t it? I am glad it all worked out for you!

  4. This looks scrumptious! Love the color of the pasta too…

  5. DO NOT mess with Tradition! But new flavors added is good too. And squash is a veggie, not a carb ;-) It really looks good.

  6. Isn’t it funny how changing traditions is a huge deal? We always traveled for Christmas and one year we ended up not going to my aunts house…I was devastated!! I didn’t know what to do at home, it didn’t feel like christmas!

  7. I agree with Evelyne, this is a veggie, not a carb! Makes it much easier to enjoy! :-)

    So funny about the reaction of the lack of soup! I’ll bet mom just rolled her eyes and said, FINE, I’ll make the soup! So what about next year, both or just one?

  8. ooh. that looks wonderful. i hope you had a great thanksgiving!!

  9. Ruth says:

    Great post and I too love the notion of more sticks of butter than people. And I always love adding a new dish to all the previous traditions. Thanks for sharing the butternut squash pasta with Presto Pasta Night. I’m betting that next Thanksgiving it will be part of the established tradition.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. the_rob_bot says:

    These are the best damn photos I’ve ever seen in my life.

  11. Tes says:

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving :)
    The butternut squash spaghetti looks really comforting and delicious :)

  12. January says:

    that’s a lovely pasta dish. flavorful but not totally sacrificing on “healthy”. butternut squash spaghettini sounds like a great idea and it looks like it’s also easy to make, so thanks for posting about this! :)

  13. Kristen says:

    What a great meatless dish. I have some butternut squash just begging to be made into this!

  14. Monet says:

    I know how it goes when a classic dish is on the chopping block. I’ve fought for quite a few of my favorites. This new pasta dish looks great though! I’m excited to try it. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a great day!

  15. Patty says:

    Whoa! Butternut squash pasta! Amazing! Did your brother enjoy it? I love butternut squash, but never thought about putting it in a pasta – it looks gorgeous and super healthy. Something a non-vegetarian (like myself) should eat a bit more of!

  16. eatspinlive says:

    This looks delicious :)

  17. I’ve never had butternut squash spaghetti but it sounds so yummy! And yes, one can never have enough carbs during Thanksgiving (or any other holiday) ;)

  18. biz319 says:

    That looks delicious! No one in my family likes butternut squash, so I think I’ll make this for one of my lunches next week.

    Hope the soup (with chicken!) turns out for you – it has a wonderful spiciness!

    Happy Friday!

  19. Joanne says:

    personally…I say the more squash the merrier. But I’m kind of an anomaly. I’m a sucker for some amount of tradition but I would definitely give this dish a warm welcome. It sounds fantastic!

  20. Kocinera says:

    This looks so good! I’ve recently fallen in love with butternut squash, so this looks absolutely perfect!

  21. Gay says:

    You make me curious about butternut squash as I haven’t tried it yet! I can just imagine how it would with pasta.

  22. Veronica says:

    The first couple years I spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws, Aunt Becky brought her famous cinnamon rolls so I thought this was a tradition in their family and it was one I fully embraced. Then she stopped bringing them and I realized she just happened to do it two years in a row and I was crushed. In my mind, the tradition had been broken! I love traditions, but if breaking them involves adding a new dish like this into the mix, I’m all for it! looks fantastic.

  23. Susan says:

    I agree with rob___bot….excellent photos..must be an expensive special camera to get such excellent photos !!

  24. Sara says:

    I’m a big fan of anything squash. I once made a cheese sauce for noodles, then topped it with bacon and butternut squash. You’ll love it!

  25. Yum – definitely one that I need to try – sounds totally delicious – I would have to include the anchovies though :-)

  26. RavieNomNoms says:

    That sounds really delicious!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: