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Pumpkin season: it’s here! It’s here!!!!! Now that we are almost into October, I am 100% ready for anything and everything related to pumpkin and other fall/winter squash. From breakfast, to dinner, to dessert, to beverages, and more, I am fully devoted to my favorite fall flavor. I’m taking it down the savory road today with a pumpkin pie spiced pasta with butternut squash and spinach, created with International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice liquid creamer. Are you ready for this? You should be.
For me, fall is the start of the holiday season. It is literally my favorite time of the year, hands down. The humidity goes away, the air gets cooler, I can start wearing jeans and long sleeves (which is a very delightful change from the crazy heat we get here in Florida), and maybe most importantly – there are many occasions to get together with family. Some people find the fall/holiday season to be stressful (and I guess it can be at times), but I like to focus on the opportunities to create memories and share awesome meals around the family table.
One of my favorite pastimes with my family is our pasta nights. We have them a few times a year for holidays, and they are always one event we all look forward to. It takes a while to roll the dough, slice it, and put an entire meal together, but we always have the best time around the kitchen island: talking, laughing, and making homemade goodness! You can get a peek of some of the fun we’ve had in previous years HERE. It has actually become a Christmas tradition for us to make a big Italian dinner on Christmas Eve each year.
Of course, we always like to switch up the different types of pasta dishes we create for the family table. One year we made ravioli, one time we created meatballs and fresh tomato sauce, and so on. However, a more cream based dish hasn’t happened yet, and I think it is about time to add one to the repertoire!
Butternut squash, spinach, leeks – they all come together in this pasta with a touch of International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice liquid creamer. I know – liquid creamer in a pasta? It sounds crazy, but I assure you it isn’t. Ordinarily, I would make a pasta like this one with a splash of heavy cream or half and half, but changing it up to incorporate this pumpkin spice option takes the fall flavors in a new direction!
You’ve got to love it – yet another use for your liquid creamer! It’s taking a place in our holiday kitchen this year for sure. Of course, it is a perfect option for a fall flavored morning cup of coffee (you can’t go wrong with the pumpkin pie flavor – a creamy swirl of spice – duh!), but I love the idea of thinking outside the box and incorporating it into other meals and dishes of the day. Fun! And of course, it doesn’t have to be JUST with morning coffee – sipping on a cup of coffee after enjoying a dinner of this pasta is another great idea in my book. And clearly, there are many other flavors of International Delight liquid creamer to choose from – where to start? It’s a conundrum. But seriously – I cannot WAIT for the weather here in Florida to cool down a bit so I can sit outside on my back porch in the morning with the dogs to enjoy my breakfast goodies! It’s the most wonderful timeeeeee of the yearrrr!!!!!
With anything pumpkin-related, one really needs to keep track of where to purchase them – they seem to fly of the shelves oh so quickly at this time of year. I was lucky enough to stock up on my International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice liquid creamer at Walmart. I will note: it is in a bin display rather than in the wall refrigerator section – keep an eye out for it!
Annnnyway – on to the recipe! It isn’t an extremely time consuming endeavor, but even with such a short amount of time, your house will be filled with some oh so wonderful scents. The sweetness of the butternut squash, the garlic, the leeks, the starchy smell of pasta boiling – it’s all going to be happening. I love the smell of thinly sliced leeks simmering in just a bit of butter – sweet, savory, amazing!
After everything is mashed, simmered, fried, and stirred together – the final touch? A stir in of Pumpkin Pie Spice liquid creamer. It adds an extra note of creamy indulgence that finishes off the dish and gets it ready to put on your plate.
S0 – do you have any family traditions that come with the fall season? What are they? Be sure to check out more fall recipes HERE – I’d love to hear your favorite idea!
- 1 pound (16 ounces) butternut squash, cubed (steamed or roasted until tender)
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 medium leek (about 1 cup), thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1 ounce fresh sage, sliced in a chiffonade
- pasta (I used rotini)
- ¼ cup International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice liquid creamer
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a deep pan/skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and add the sliced leek and garlic with a pinch of salt. Saute until leeks are tender - about 5-7 minutes. Add the butternut squash to the pan and mash until smooth. Next, add the baby spinach, place a lid on the pan and allow the spinach to wilt for about 5 minutes. Then remove the pan from heat.
- In a separate pan, add 3 tablespoons of butter and the sliced sage. Fry until sage leaves are slightly crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside, making sure to reserve some of the pasta water on the side for later.
- When the sage is done frying, add it to the other pan with the butternut squash mixture over medium heat. Stir until all is combined. Next, stir in the pasta along with 2-3 tablespoons of reserved pasta water and the Parmesan cheese. When all is combined, remove from heat and stir in the creamer. Serve hot with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper. Enjoy!!!