This slow cooker recipe is an easy way to sneak healthy vegetables into a pasta dish and make it seem totally indulgent

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Butternut squash is a favorite winter vegetable. Its flesh is velvety smooth when cooked and has a rich sweetness that pairs surprisingly well with pungent Parmesan cheese and rich cream. This dish makes a fantastic vegetarian entrée and is wonderfully easy to prepare as well.
If you haven’t dealt with whole butternut squash before, rest assured that it isn’t as hard as you might think. If you’ve got a whole squash, simply microwave it for 5 to 8 minutes before peeling and cutting. This will soften the outer shell and make it much easier to handle. Better still, you can find already peeled and cubed butternut squash in the produce section of most supermarkets.
Cooktop Cove
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Rigatoni
10 minutes
4 hours and 45 minutes
4 hours and 55 minutes
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
In the slow cooker, combine the squash, onion, garlic, broth, thyme, salt and pepper.
Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or for 4 hours or high.
Using an immersion blender or in batches in a countertop blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Add a bit of water, if needed, to get the desired consistency.
Return the pureed mixture to the slow cooker if necessary. Add the pasta, cover, and cook on high for about 45 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.
Just before serving, stir in the cream. Serve hot, topped with Parmesan cheese.
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