Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage, and Ricotta

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Butternut squash with sage is one of my favorite vegetable and herb combinations. I love butternut squash soup with sage and wanted to capture that flavor in a hearty pasta dish. Fresh sage has an unforgettable scent, unique flavor, and velvety texture. This is an easy, crowd pleasing recipe that will warm you up on a cold winter day. The vegan ricotta makes it extra creamy and rich and the pine nuts add flavor and crunch. Roasted butternut squash is soft and will stick to your pasta a little to add some additional texture. The lemon juice adds bright acidity that ties this dish together. This pasta is fragrant and colorful with the orange squash and green sage. It’s also hearty and very flavorful. It’s kid friendly as well. The key to making delicious pasta is not overcooking it. Typically around 8-10 minutes is perfect for al dente pasta. Removing it from the heat immediately after cooking helps to keep it from cooking any further. The pasta water contains starch from the pasta and will provide a smooth, silky texture to the pasta if you add a little of it after cooking. I usually save about 2-4 tbs of the pasta water to add in while I am adding the sauce or vegetables. You can salt your pasta water to make your pasta more salty from the inside out or wait until the end to season the entire dish.  This pasta would go beautifully with a kale salad or sauteed spinach. It also pairs well with white wine such as Viognier or Chardonnay. This is festive, easy, vegan recipe is great for the holidays! If you make it, make sure to take a picture and tag @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram and Facebook or pin the recipe on Pinterest. Happy holidays!

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Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage, and Ricotta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 lbs cubed butternut squash (about 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup vegan ricotta cheese (such as Kite Hill brand)
  • 1 cup sage, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbs olive oil, divided
  • olive oil spray
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 420F. Spray two baking sheets with olive oil spray. Toss butternut squash with 1 tbs olive and spread in a single layer on baking sheets. Roast for about 30 minutes, flipping squash with a spatula halfway through cooking time. Squash should be fork tender but not browned. Cook penne in a large pot of boiling water for about 8 minutes. Save about 2 tbs of the pasta water. Drain pasta immediately and set aside. Next, heat 1 tbs olive oil on medium heat in a medium-large Dutch oven or saucepan. Add garlic and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add chopped sage and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add pine nuts and the roasted butternut squash and turn heat off. Add cooked pasta, 2 tbs pasta water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and vegan ricotta cheese and stir to combine well. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. May store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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