Sunday, October 7, 2012

Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

Here in Nebraska we quickly went from summer into fall, or almost winter, this week.  The low was in the upper 20's the past two nights.  The trees are a beautiful golden hue and the leaves are falling quickly.

 I love the flavors of fall; pumpkin, squash, apples and pears.  Butternut squash has been in our CSA bag the past couple of weeks.  Butternut squash is so versatile.  It can be sweet or savory and easily makes for a hearty meal.  I had a log of honey goat cheese that needed to be used up.  This recipe gave me the opportunity to do just that.  To offset some of the sweetness of the cheese, I added about 1/2 pound of Italian Sausage to this dish.  I didn't have any walnuts, so omitted those.  This dish just defines comfort food!

What's your favorite fall food?


  Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

Recipe Courtesy of Giada De Laurentis
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (2-pound) butternut or kombucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.
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 to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
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 tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms 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.

I am linking this to On The Menu Monday, Make It Pretty Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday.


  1. This looks and sounds so good! Thank you for sharing. Visiting from On the Menu. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House which goes live at 8am CST on Monday. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  2. Yum! I just said to a friend tonight I really like butternut squash and need to make it more often:@)

  3. Like my friend Lynne above said, yum! I never thought of pairing the two, but I love both!
    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment! I checked and I am a follower!
    See you again soon, and remember it doesn't have to be a tablescape, maybe something pretty dish related you collect, or found at a Thrift.
    Love your yard too, congrats!

  4. This recipe sounds really good. I am getting in the mood for squash, and so will have to put this on my list to try out--thank you for sharing it with us. It is getting cold in your area--here in the Pacific Northwest it's going down to the low 40s at night, but still fairly warm in the days and very dry, surprisingly.

  5. Your penne looks wonderful! We've had a sudden onset of fall too, and this is the kind of dish I feel like making. I don't know if I have a single favorite fall dish, but anything with roasted vegetables would be right up there!

  6. This looks delicious! I'd have to swap out the goat cheese for another cheese but everything else about it is perfect to me.

  7. thank you so much for sharing this Julie!! It looks amazing and I can't wait to try this:)

  8. Butternut squash and goat cheese were meant for each other! This is the perfect fall dish.

  9. We still have high temperatures here in Greece but this pasta dish looks perfect no matter what the weather is here! I am sure it tasted beautifully!

  10. Hi Julie,
    I just love your combination of the Butternut and Goat Cheese, can't wait to try this recipe. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  11. Looks fantastic, I love the addition of sausage!


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