Penne with Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese

Ohhh was this D E L I C I O U S !
Penne with Butternut Squash plated
My sweet friend, Janet, brought us over some butternut squash from her garden the other day.
I was excited to try something new with it, and found this amazing recipe from Giada at the Food Network.
I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so Score!  A simple (and no meat) dinner last night.  I added a big, green tossed salad, and we were set.
(My guys do prefer to have “meat,” but I’ll keep trying with baby steps to slip in alternatives occasionally.)
Penne with Butternut Squash Squash
So seriously – how can you go wrong with…
Penne pasta,
Creamy goat cheese,
Sweet onions and butternut squash roasted to perfection with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper,
Crunchy toasted walnuts,
Fresh, fragrant basil,
and salty grated Parmegiano Reggiano cheese
(well – – – Marty says omit the walnuts and add chicken – – – spoil sport!     Might work – but I LOVED it this way!!)
Penne with Butternut Squash Roasted Walnuts
I just love roasting vegetables.  The way this process caramelizes and brings out the sugars and flavors of vegetables is so amazing!
Penne with Butternut Squash roasted
 So – here is the recipe Giada shares from The Food Network that I tweaked up just a bit.
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 sweet onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
Olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound penne pasta (or whatever shape you like)
1 1/2 cups goat cheese, crumbled – or how much ever you like
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Arrange the squash and onion together in a single layer on a baking sheet (I always use baking stones). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally making sure to not overbake – or squash will become “mushy” when mixed in with pasta.

While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente – about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Mix the pasta, goat cheese and pasta water together and stir until the cheese melts into a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes Cool completely before using.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

5 thoughts on “Penne with Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese

  1. What a perfect autumn meal! Mixing the pasta water and the cheese together is a great technique for making a nice creamy sauce. Never thought of that. My husband would eat this happily and not miss the meat one bit. He’s good like that!

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