Since we embraced the opportunity to go a little less traditional with the food at our Friendsgiving Feast, a meatless main with major fall vibes felt like just the ticket since it made my vegetarian friends happy — and ensured that we didn’t overdose on turkey before Thanksgiving actually rolls around. This butternut squash, spinach, and goat cheese pasta ended up totally surpassing my expectations; since the recipe is so simple, it was kind of mind-blowing the way the short list of ingredients came together to make total fall magic. Keep reading for the recipe.
*photos by Ashleigh Amoroso
This is truly a one-pot wonder: with pasta, greens, and healthy roasted veg, it makes a beautiful and hearty meal in and of itself. Which means less time spent washing pots and pans, more time spent around the table with friends.
I used paccheri here – a large tube-shaped pasta that perfectly catches all those delicious toppings and has a great bite when cooked al dente. Other pasta shapes that would work well here are rigatoni, tortiglioni, or even penne.
Even though this dish is absolutely party worthy, it’s also perfect for a cozy weeknight at home. Roast your squash, cook the pasta, and it only takes about 5 minutes to toss on all the toppings just before serving. If you’re feeling really lazy, just skip the brown butter sauce and drizzle with olive oil and a big squeeze of orange.
Be sure to hop over to our Friendsgiving Feast to see the rest of this gathering, and check out the Best Brussels Sprouts you’ve ever had right here. Keep scrolling for the pasta recipe card, and be sure to let me know what you think!
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling at end
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound paccheri (or other large tube shaped pasta)
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbles (reserve a little for garnish)
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (reserve a little for garnish)
- grated Parmesan cheese
- optional garnish: a few sage leaves
brown butter sauce:
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 tbsp cream
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, salt & pepper, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown on the edges and tender on the inside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sage, zest, & juice, and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Add cream & let warm 1 more minute. Turn the heat off and season with salt, and pepper.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, then return to pot and toss with spinach, roasted squash, and goat cheese. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter, and top with remaining goat cheese, pine nuts, & parmesan. Drizzle the brown butter sauce over the entire dish, garnish with a few sage leaves, and eat!