Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Pepper Ragu

Comfort food is not the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of alternative diets, but this Whole30 compliant meal is the ultimate in comfort. It might just be that I haven’t eaten pasta in five months, but the creamy texture of the butternut squash was more satisfying than I remember pasta to be – and I felt healthy and energetic after eating it. None of that post-pasta sluggishness here!

20130710-175123.jpgTo make the sauce, I combined my favorite tried-and-true roasted red pepper sauce recipe with sautéed ground beef. When I make the red pepper sauce, I like to make a huge batch and save it in divided portions in the freezer. When I know I’ll need it, I move a portion to the fridge to defrost while I’m at work.

This is a great grain-free meal for anyone, whether you normally eat grains or not. And if you are grain-free, Paleo, or in the middle of a Whole30, this is the perfect meal for entertaining non-Paleo friends or getting your kids to enjoy a seriously healthy dish.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Pepper Ragu

Serves 4

1 large butternut squash halved and seeded
3 cups roasted red pepper sauce or Paleo spaghetti sauce of choice
1 lb. ground beef

If using homemade sauce, make your sauce before preparing the rest of the meal.

Place butternut squash halves face up on baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While squash cools, brown ground beef in a skillet, adding the red pepper sauce when the meat is just cooked through. Stir until hot and bubbly and take saucepan off heat.

Remove skin from the squash and cut into small cubes, or use a small melon-baller to scoop out bite-sized pieces of squash. Serve covered with red pepper ragu.