Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Penne.

Cliche as it may be, now that Kelvin and I are married, I have been spending WAY more time in the kitchen. There is so much more joy in cooking for someone else than preparing something for just yourself. Not to mention that Colorado has finally cooled down and embraced Fall, which means my kitchen is no longer a constant, sweltering 85 degrees. Thank the good Lord.

So, like the rest of the female population, I am currently crazy over butternut squash. Truly, I have been putting it in EVERYTHING. (I dumped some feta and leftover roasted squash on quinoa the other day and called it lunch…it wasn’t that good. I won’t be sharing).  This pasta, however, came as a suggestion from my sister Jenn; I literally made it that night. And it only took about two bites to come to the conclusion that I will now be including it on our menu every Fall (multiple times).

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH & GOAT CHEESE PENNE

Serves: 4

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

|Ingredients|

  • 1 (2 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 onion, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 C goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 C coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see note)
  • 1 packed C chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 C finely grated Parmesan cheese

|Directions|

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet liberally with cooking spray.

2. Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 40-45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

3. While the veggies are cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still FIRM to the bite, approximately 8-10 minutes.  Drain and RESERVE about 2 C of pasta water.

4. Put the pasta, crumbled goat cheese and 1 C of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the veggie mixture, the walnuts and the chopped basil. Toss well and season with any desired extra S & P.

5. Garnish with the grated parmesan and serve. (And then have seconds).

Note: 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.

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