(Recipe is found on the Food Network site here.)
Step by Step Instructions:
Here is everything you will need to make this lovely pasta: Parmesan Cheese (for topping), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, approximately two pounds of Butternut Squash, Fresh Basil, Goat Cheese, Onion, Chopped Walnuts, Kosher Salt, Freshly Ground Pepper and Whole Wheat Penne Pasta.
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees to toast the walnuts. Then pour one cup of chopped walnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes and then set them aside to let them cool.
Then increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees to roast the vegetables. Go ahead and cut an onion into about 1/2 inch pieces as you see above.
Add the onions to your squash to mix them up…
…then pour them onto a cookie sheet that is either sprayed well with cooking spray or else lined with a Silpat so that they are all in a single layer. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the squash and onions and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Then place the cookie sheet in the top third of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender. Our oven cooks things pretty quickly, so I pulled these out after about 30 minutes because I could start to smell the deliciousness, which was a sign to me that they were ready. When I took them out, they were golden and tender.
While the veggies cool, boil some water in a large pot and then cook the penne pasta as the package suggests. While the pasta is cooking, I roughly chopped about a cup of fresh basil (sigh!).
I placed my cooled toasted walnuts in a bowl so they would be waiting for me.
Then get a large bowl (very large) and put your goat cheese in it.
Using a wooden spoon, break apart the cheese so it is crumbly.
Once the penne is cooked to al dente, add it to the cheese along with about two cups of pasta water. Then stir it up until the cheese melts into a creamy sauce.
To the pasta and cheese, add your butternut squash and onions, chopped basil, and walnuts.
Then stir everything together until it is well combined. Serve it immediately, and you can top it with grated parmesan cheese if you would like. It is truly divine and comes together in a snap!
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 (see Cook’s Note)
1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
1. Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.
3. 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.
4. 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.
To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes Cool completely before using.