(BPT) - Five ways to give simple recipes a seasonal update with fall’s most versatile ingredient

Fall is the best time for weeknight cooking — and for enjoying hearty comfort foods. It’s also an ideal time to experiment with fall’s “it” ingredient, squash. Sweet, nutty and earthy in flavor, this beloved vegetable comes in dozens of varieties and its sweet, rich texture can transform simple foods like pasta into savory, crowd-pleasing dishes. Beyond its unique flavor profile, squash also packs a serious punch in terms of health and nutritional benefits, including vitamins A, C, E and potassium.

When cooking with squash, Chef Craig Schauffel, vice president of research and culinary innovation at Three Bridges, advises using simple, high-quality ingredients, like vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes and fresh pasta, to let the seasonal flavors truly shine.

For busy people looking to get in on this season’s harvest, Chef Craig shares five fresh and flavorful dinner recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare and make simple, honest and better-for-you meals for the entire family:

Butternut Squash Carbonara — Upgrade your standard carbonara by swapping out spaghetti with hearty Butternut Squash Ravioli. Beat farm-fresh egg yolks with Parmesan cheese, basil and vegetable stock to make a velvety sauce that complements the sweet and savory flavors of this seasonal dish.

Organic Linguini with a White Wine Pumpkin Sauce — For a quick dish that’s also date-night worthy, mix things up and swap out traditional red sauce for freshly pureed pumpkin, fennel, Three Bridges Alfredo Sauce and a splash of chardonnay. Toss Three Bridges Organic Linguini Egg Pasta in this seasonal sauce and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan Gnocchi with Butternut and Kale Casserole — The epitome of comfort in a bowl, this Parmesan Gnocchi recipe gets a seasonal twist with butternut squash, fresh sage and kale. Delicious down to the last bite, this one-skillet recipe will have your family asking for seconds.

Triple Cheese Tortellini and Bacon Stuffed Squash — Sheet-pan dinners require minimal preparation and are incredibly convenient, making this stuffed acorn squash dish an easy go-to recipe for busy weeknights. Three Bridges Triple Cheese Tortellini, creamy Alfredo sauce and crispy bacon give this multilayered dish lots of flavor and texture. The best part? Acorn squash is bountiful this season, when its sweet, nutty flavor is at its peak.

Grilled Chicken & Prosciutto Ravioli with Butternut Squash & Spinach in a Brown Butter Sauce — Take comfort food to the next level by combining Three Bridges Grilled Chicken & Prosciutto Ravioli with butternut squash, walnuts, fresh spinach and brown butter. Ready in just 25 minutes and made with premium ingredients including all-natural chicken and hormone-free cheese, this simple recipe indulges the palate yet is the perfect remedy for a chilly fall evening.