Here’s a little meal inspiration for the weekend. Butternut squash is delicious beyond all reason. How can something be so naturally sweet and satisfying? It’s one of those foods that makes me all sorts of happy and amazed by what nature can produce. Just a little salt, pepper, and olive oil (or, conversely, brown sugar and syrup) and you have yourself the most perfect and simple of meals.
If you’re anything like me though, several rounds of that preparation and you’re ready for something a little different. As good and wonderful as it is in its simplicity, I tend to get a little bored by having it the same way all the time.
This meal is hardly a complicated departure. Think of it more as a serving suggestion! The inspiration comes from How to Cook Everything and again requires that I bow down to Mark Bittman for coming up with a recipe that so simply and perfectly melds flavours to produce something which tastes delicate and complex.
The dish doesn’t really require ingredients and directions to be written out, but for consistency’s sake, I will include those. If you’ve got a squash on your hands (or some sweet potatoes for that matter), may I mightily suggest you try this? The sweetness of the squash is balanced out by the nutty pasta and spicy pepper and garlic. Parmesan cheese compliments everything perfectly.
Healthy and hearty; it’s also quick to throw together in a pinch. I seem to be consistently running around like a headless chicken at the moment and this kind of thing is a great meal for those occasions. Amid the craziness, this meal made me remember to sit down, take a sip of wine, breathe, and enjoy!
Whole Wheat Pasta with Butternut Squash
adapted from How to Cook Everything
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound whole wheat farfalle or other cut pasta
- 1 large handful fresh baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Parmesan, for grating
Heat the oven to 400F. Put the potatoes in a roasting tin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil; toss to coat.
Roast the squash until brown on one side, about 10 minutes; stir and continue roasting until tender, another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta, according to package instructions, or until just al dente. Drain. Return pasta to pot and stir in baby spinach until it wilts.
Toss the squash with garlic and red pepper flakes, then toss with the cooked pasta, and remaining olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve immediately with grated parmesan.