Butternut squash, sage and fresh spinach join forces with pasta! Butternut squash pasta is a delicious way to enjoy everyone’s favorite fall vegetable!
Yes, I did it.
I bought a winter squash. I cooked it. I ate it. It’s September. I can justify my actions.
It’s a miracle I managed to hold out until now anyways.
If there’s something I seriously lack in it’s patience. Waiting for something just doesn’t seem right to me.
I need instant gratification or else I get really unpleasant to be with.
Ask Branimir, he will roll his eyes and nod. That’s how you’ll now it’s really bad.
But I know I can’t just always have everything.
Where would the fun be in Christmas cookies if I’d be stuffing my face with them already in July?
Do I really need a birthday cake everyday? (OK, granted, I don’t really care that much about my birthday. But gosh, do I care about cake!)
Strawberries in January? Pumpkin in spring?
Deep down I know it’s much more fun to have little things like certain foods only at certain times throughout the year.
Though I do often contemplate making a turkey with all the trimmings just because I can.
But then again I can’t because it’s really hard to get your hands on an entire turkey around here.
We can’t even make one on Thanksgiving because you know, there ain’t no Thanksgiving in Europe.
Major sads! Luckily Christmas time is turkey time! But oh, I digress.
I have at some point decided to set myself limits for certain things.
I’m not allowed to listen to Christmas carols before October for example.
Yes, that’s still early but they sell Christmas decorations in October – I figured I’d be good to go. That’s why Ray Conniff and Elvis are waiting in my drawer (read: my iTunes account) patiently every year until it’s time to party.
I also have a time limit for pumpkin.
And that’s September. I told you before that in my books fall begins with the first of September and if there’s an ultimate ultimate fall food it’s certainly pumpkin and winter squash!
It’s only natural to start eating it then, right?
You guys, some reassurance! I really hope I’m not the only one being weird like that.
I know, I know. This sounds like my life is dominated by an awful lot of arbitrary rules.
But really it’s just to keep me from hating on seasonal things by the time the season actually rolls around.
Do you know the feeling after Christmas when there’s still mountains of cookies around and all the shops are still playing Christmas songs?
You’re just starting to get really sick of it all.
And because I’m seriously fond of the seasons I try my best to be patient for most of the year.
Since we’ve established patience isn’t exactly a strength of mine – can you imagine how giddy I was getting in August with the prospect of eating some orange deliciousness so very soon?
I was nearly jumping up and down clapping my hands when we bought the first butternut squash of the year.
And when it turned into this magical little pasta dish I was simply over the moon.
Partly a creamy coating for the noodles and partly a delicious pan-roasted topping make for a perfect vegetarian meal to celebrate the beginning of fall!
Not fall in your books yet?
Doesn’t matter, after the first bite of this pasta dish I guarantee you the leaves on your trees will start turning red and yellow in an instant and you’ll start feeling that beautiful autumn glow!
And if that doesn’t help? Well, then maybe you just need an old-fashioned apple dessert to get your mood tuned to fall.
Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage
- 10.5 oz Rigatoni or other large pasta shapes
- 1 approximately 4lb butternut squash weight including skin and seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup creamy goat cheese or cream cheese
- leaves Small bunch of fresh sage only
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach washed
- Salt pepper and freshly ground nutmeg to taste
- Peel and deseed the pumpkin. Cut one half into slices and set aside. Cut the other half into evenly sized cubes.
- Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain reserving about one cup of cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the squash cubes, cover and heat until it starts sizzling. Reduce the temperature to medium-low and let cook for 10-15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Blend in a food processor or using an immersion blender. Add cheese and mix thoroughly.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the slices of butternut squash and the sage leaves. Fry turning every once in a while until the slices turn slightly golden brown.
- Mix the squash puree with the pasta. Gradually add the reserved cooking water until the sauce has a creamy consistency and nicely coats the pasta. Heat through and toss with the fresh spinach.
- Serve topped with the roasted squash slices and sage leaves.