Like any good harbinger of changing seasons, the arrival of butternut squash at the farmers market signals that it’s time to start doing something different in the kitchen. Crank up the heat, folks, let’s get some casseroles on the table. Butternut squash has, in the last year, quickly trumped broccoli as my favorite vegetable. Its sumptuous flavor, well-rounded and sweet and, of course, buttery; its versatility in the kitchen, perfect for soups and casseroles and breads and oh so much more; its vibrant hue ringing in the autumn. What’s that? Why, yes, I do have an unhealthy love for this particular fall-time fruit (in the technical sense), if you must know. The problem with it being that when preparing it, I have noticed that my hands turn a color not unlike that of the squash itself, as if I am slowly morphing into a super-sized Oompah Loompah. Not to be deterred by what Wikipedia calls “Butternut Squash Dermatitis,” (I am so not kidding), I cooked it up twice last week. Both butternut meals last week came with a side of whole grains, which inevitably initiates the, “That’s a lot of starch for one meal” comment from my soon-to-be-husband. But the flavors go so well together (nutty whole grains and sweet squash, you had me at hello!) that I’ll risk a perpetual marital spat for this one dish. Butternut squash dermatitis and supposedly superfluous starches be damned, this is one dish I recommend you try right away. It’s great for potlucks, or the perfect dish to whip up on Monday night and enjoy as leftovers for the first half of the week. It’s nutty and sweet and savory and — oh, enough of that! Just make it. It’s wonderful. And then you can officially welcome the fall. Roasted Butternut Squash and Whole-Wheat Pasta 1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 3 cloves garlic, peeled 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1-2 tbsp fresh or dried rosemary or sage salt & pepper to taste 8 ounces whole-wheat cappellini 2 tbsp butter (or olive oil) 3 tbsp chopped pecans 1/3 c shredded parmesan chopped green onion Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the cubed squash, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender and begins to caramelize. While the squash is cooking, cook and drain the spaghetti according to the package directions. Add the butter or olive oil and mix until the butter has melted. Toss roasted squash and garlic with the pasta. Just before serving, add pecans, parmesan, and green onion. Posted by Amber Byfield
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