Pasta with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

This is the best go-to pasta recipe to impress guests or just feel like you have having a fancy dinner at home that is also super easy to make. I promise…it really is easy! I love Giada DeLaurentiis and this is one of my favorite recipes of hers.

I usually wait to make this pasta until I have tons of fresh basil of my own that I need to use up but this year I couldn’t wait so I bought some. I picked up the goat cheese from the farmer’s market that we visited over the weekend. It is made locally at a place called Night Sky Farm. It was very, very cool to get to talk to the woman that prepares the different varieties of goat cheese. She had everything from plain goat cheese to goat cheese that had white chocolate in it. I personally prefer the savory versions. The goat cheese I used in this recipe had basil in it.

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

(Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis)

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta (I was out so I used fusilli and it was great)
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Preparation

  • Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.
  • 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. Mix them around about halfway through the cooking. Depending on the size of the squash and onions they may cook faster so keep an eye on them. 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 1 cup 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.

This is perfect for a vegetarian dinner or served with some grilled or roasted chicken… or a easy¬†rotisserie¬†chicken from your favorite grocery store!

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