Penne with Butternut Squash and Walnuts

15 Oct

Yesterday was a day for adventure. Knowing that today would be a busy day, I decided to go out early and do my shopping. Though this makes the trek home from work long, I figured if I just went shopping on Friday, I’d have the day free to do as I liked. Saturdays and Sundays are the two days that I get to really spend time with my husband, and though we do enjoy shopping together- I’d rather be doing other things.

I went off to my local market that is always bursting with fresh produce and interesting things I’ve never cooked with before. As I entered the market, there in front of me was a sign saying “Butternut Squash: 49¢ per lb.”. I’d never used butternut squash or tasted it. I had heard lots of good things from watching the cooking channel and what other people had told me, but I had no first hand experience. “Why not just try it?”, I found myself asking. So in the cart went the “nicest” looking butternut squash, since I didn’t even know what I was supposed to be looking for.

When I returned home, I hunted up some recipes about Butternut squash. I found quite a few with rice or pasta or in a soup of some kind. I did not have even half of the items that were in Giada’s recipe- since she always seems to have a lot of “unexpected” items- in this case goat cheese. So, I decided to come up with my own adaptation of the recipe and it turned out great!

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, and diced
  • salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sharp grating cheese (i.e. Romano Peccorino)
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups reserved pasta water
  • 4 medium onions, cut into thick wedges

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a baking sheet, arrange onions and butternut squash. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss. Season generously with salt and pepper. Let bake for 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

On the stove, bring a pot of water to a boil for the penne pasta. In the meantime, chop parsley and walnuts. Once the pasta is al dente, strain, saving some water to add back. Add the pasta, butternut squash, onions, grating cheese, and walnuts. Stir adding reserved pasta water a little bit at a time. Add in more pepper and the chopped parsley. Enjoy!


Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Main Dish



4 responses to “Penne with Butternut Squash and Walnuts

  1. Spring

    October 16, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Was the squash hard to peel and dice?

    • theflourbag

      October 16, 2011 at 11:59 am

      I thought so! I have never purchased butternut squash and since it was so spir of the moment… I hadn’t had time to research how I was supposed to choose one. I chose a firm one, but I’m wondering if I should have chosen a slightly softer one? When it was cooked, it tasted beautiful! So maybe it doesn’ tmatter? I’m not sure. But yes, it was hard to peel and dice- but def. worth the effort 🙂

  2. Laura Thompson

    October 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    This looks so delectable. The pictures make me want to start cooking right now! 🙂

    • Melodie

      November 5, 2011 at 2:51 am

      Aww thank you! 🙂


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