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O. M. G. I love butternut squash and pasta. Usually the squash ends up inside ravioli. Today it’s on the outside. I often roast lots of squash to have on hand during the week; start out with using cubed squash in dishes to pureeing the roasted squash into soup.

I think it was Alton Brown who provided the helpful tip of using pasta water. I added it to the goat cheese to create a sauce. Goat cheese, especially fresh from the Salem NH Farmers Market, melts so easily. Add some crunch with maple pecans and dried cranberries.

Visit salemnhfarmersmarket.org for other featured recipes.

butternut squash and goat cheese penneWhat you need:

• 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2″cubes
• 1 lb penne pasta
• 1 c Millcreek Dairy goat cheese
• 1 tbs chopped fresh sage
• 1 c spinach, chopped
• 1/2 c maple pecans, chopped
• 1/2 c dried cranberries
• Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
• Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for grating, if desired.

What you do:

• Heat oven to 425°.
• Line baking sheet with parchment and coat with olive oil spray.
• Place squash in lg bowl and toss with EVOO.
• Season with salt and pepper.
• Place in single layer on baking sheet.
• Roast for 20-25 min until caramelizing begins.
• Turn and cook another 10-15 min.
• Remove from oven and set aside.
• Over high heat bring lg pot of salted water to a boil.
• Add pasta and cook al dente according to pkg instructions.
• Stir occasionally.
• Drain and reserve about 1 c pasta water.
• Add goat cheese to saucepan over med heat.
• As it begins to melt, add sage about 1/4 c pasta water and whisk.
• Continue adding 1/4 c pasta water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. I like it to heavily coat the back of a spoon. (Transfer about 1/4 c to sm bowl if you want to try my butternut squash slaw recipe)
• Season with salt and pepper.
• Add pasta and stir to incorporate.
• Add spinach and mix well.
• Gently fold in butternut squash.
• Spoon onto individual serving dishes and sprinkle with pecans, cranberries and Parmigiano-Reggiano.