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Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo Is the Healthy(-ish) Pasta Dinner You Need

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Take 5 is a PEOPLE Food series with a mission: Get a star-worthy meal (or dessert or cocktail) on your table in either 5 minutes or using only 5 ingredients. Each recipe has been bravely tested, tasted and approved by our food editors for your eating pleasure. If you’re hungry for more recipes, we’ve got you covered.

Fettuccine Alfredo is is everything you want in comfort food: creamy, cheesy, carb-y goodness.

It’s with hesitation that’d we call this version “lightened-up” — that connotes some sort of deprivation. In this case, we’ll say it’s amplified…in a way tag just happens to be healthier. Instead of using cream, you gently simmer cubed butternut squash and whole garlic cloves in milk, then blend the whole thing into a sauce. The squash lends a sweetness and silky smooth texture that is reminiscent of a creamy mac and cheese.

Watch the video above to see how we did it, then follow the recipe below to make it at home.

RELATED: Make Pumpkin Gnocchi from Scratch with Just 5 Ingredients

Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo

Serves 4
1 lb. fettuccine
½ medium butternut squash, diced ½-inch thick (about 2 ½ cups)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups whole milk
⅓ cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve about ¼ cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet (with a lid) over medium-low, add squash, milk, garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cover, stirring occasionally, until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until very smooth (add an extra splash of milk if it feels too thick).

3. Return the alfredo sauce to the skillet over medium heat and add pasta, parmesan, and a ladle of pasta water. Stir until everything is combined and heated through. Season to taste and serve with extra parm on top.