Skip to content

Butternut Squash Rigatoni with Spiced Shrimp

February 16, 2009

I’ve been trying to come up with a way to describe how awesome this dish is, but words are failing me.  All I can say  is, make this asap.  This is a Giada deLaurentis recipe I saw her making while I was at the gym last week…even without my headphones to hear what she was saying, I knew it would be great.  It’s a pasta dish with savory butternut squash sauce that’s kind of like mock macaroni and cheese and better for you than mac n cheese.  The sauce is creamy and cheesy from the Parmesan, with a fresh herb taste from the basil.  I seasoned the shrimp with Cajun seasoning and really liked the spicy counterpoint to the squash.  I wish I had a picture, but the pasta disappeared before I could take one.  Serves 4 (or in this case 3 who were fighting over the shrimp).


2 T olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 t salt

1 c vegetable stock

1 c whole milk

1/2 c chopped fresh basil

1/4 c grated Parmesan

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1- 1 1/2 t Cajun seasoning

1 lb box rigatoni, cooked al dente


Heat water for pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.  Save 1 c of the pasta water and set cooked pasta aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan that has a lid.  Add garlic, butternut squash and salt to the pan and saute for 6-7 minutes, until it begins to brown.  Add vegetable stock and stir to combine.  Cover with lid and simmer squash until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  When squash can be easily pierced with a knife, pour contents of the pan into a blender.  Add the cup of cold milk.  The mixture should cool down.  If the mixture is still hot, allow it to cool for 5 minutes to avoid blowing the top off the blender.  Blend until smooth.  Return the squash mixture to pan and add basil and Parmesan, and keep warm over medium low heat.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Season the shrimp with Cajun seasoning.  Heat 1 T olive oil in a clean non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  When oil is hot, add shrimp and spread into a single layer.  Cook about 4 minutes, until shrimp is mostly pink but still uncooked on the tops (depends on the size of your shrimp).  Flip shrimp and finish cooking until shrimp is opaque, about a minute more.

When shrimp is cooked, toss pasta with butternut squash sauce and some pasta water, if needed, to loosen the sauce.  Divide among bowls and top with shrimp.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Haley permalink
    February 18, 2009 10:12 am

    I made this last night and it was delicious! Layne raved. I might adjust the amount of basil I use next time, because it was a little basil-y for my taste, but otherwise it was super rich and creamy and sweet and the spicy shrimp were a perfect foil for all of that. And it was super easy and quick to come together as an added bonus!


  1. Pasta Ponza « Juicy Bits
  2. Butternut Squash and Kale Macaroni and Cheese « Juicy Bits

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: