Here at World Butternut Headquarters, we’ve been in Bubba Gump-mode. We’ve done butternut squash bread pudding, pot pie and a Thanksgiving-smelling gratin with apples and leeks. The Risotto to End All Risottos. Roasted butternut on grits. Butternut and corn chowder. And a butternut casserole that’s even bettah with hot Italian sausage.
So, I thought we’d fully explored the power of the butternut until I saw this recipe for Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta. You add the freshly cooked pasta (and a little pasta water) to the goat cheese so that it melts into a creamy, tangy sauce for this beautiful mess of roasted squash and onion, toasted walnuts, fresh basil and Parmesan.
Just the thing for a rainy autumn day.
(Tomorrow, add some hot Italian sausage.)
Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese
Slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ “Giada at Home”
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 yellow onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound penne pasta (any kind)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Note)
- 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
- Place an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the squash and onion, and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set aside.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Put the goat cheese in the bottom of a large serving bowl. Add the pasta and 1 cup of pasta water. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce.
- Add the squash, onion, walnuts and the basil. Toss well, and season with salt and pepper. Top with Parmesan, and serve.
Note: To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 6 minutes Cool before using.