Weekday Vegetarian: Pasta with Butternut Squash and Fried Sage for a Wonderful Autumn Dinner

squash pasta photo

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

Sometimes you have the happy occurrence when you come across a recipe that sounds absolutely delicious, and you have all of the ingredients on hand without having to slip out to the grocery store. I had a squash sitting on my kitchen counter and a sage plant running riot in my garden and I just had to make this pasta dish for my dinner. I'm so glad I made it right away instead of letting it fall into my bookmarked recipe abyss because it was fantastic and a perfect autumn dinner.This recipe takes a bit of time for the squash to roast, but the active time is very short and it's easy to prepare. You need fresh sage for this recipe, and it really makes the dish. I didn't crush the sage as the recipe calls for, I left the leaves whole and then put them on top of the pasta when I plated it. I guess if you broke it up you'd get more sage in each bite, but I loved the little salty sage hit when you got a big piece in my mouth.The recipe writer makes a point about not overcrowding the pan, because you really want the pasta to get a bit crispy, just be careful about the pasta sticking to the pan.

This recipe is from The Kitchn.

Pasta Pan-Fried with Butternut Squash, Fried Sage, and Pine Nuts

1 medium butternut squash
1 small sweet onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
1 pound farfalle pasta
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 ounces high quality Parmesan, shredded or shaved (about a cup total)

1. Heat the oven to 375°. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the strings and seeds the middle cavity. Flip the squash halves upside down and peel them. (Note: The raw squash rind can irritate your hands. If they start to itch or tingle, wear gloves.) Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Toss with the onion, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Mince about half of the fresh sage leaves and also toss with the squash.

2. Spread the squash mixture in a thin layer on a large baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is soft.

3. Heat salted pasta water to boiling and cook the farfalle until al dente. Drain and set aside. As the squash finishes roasting, heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large high-sided sauté pan. The oil is ready when it pops and sputters. Drop in the rest of the sage leaves and fry for about a minute, or until they begin to just shrivel up. Remove with a slotted spoon and salt lightly. Crush with the back of a spoon.

4. Add half the pasta to the pan, along with half the roasted squash mixture. Crumble in half the sage. Cook, stirring frequently, for five minutes or until the pasta is heated through and getting crispy on some of the edges. Add the pine nuts and cook for another minute. Stir in half the cheese and serve. Repeat the last step with the rest of the ingredients.

We split it into two because none of our pans are big enough to accommodate the entire recipe. It's very important that you not crowd the pan too much - you want the pasta to really pan-fry, not just steam up.

More Squash Recipes

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash
Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter and Wild Mushroom Sauce
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

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