Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese
Slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ “Giada at Home” found at Ezra Pound Cake
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 (2-POUND) BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PEELED, SEEDED AND CUT INTO 3/4-INCH CUBES
1 YELLOW ONION, DICED INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES
OLIVE OIL, FOR DRIZZLING
KOSHER SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1 POUND PENNE PASTA (ANY KIND)
1 CUP (8 OUNCES) GOAT CHEESE, CRUMBLED
1 CUP COARSELY CHOPPED WALNUTS, TOASTED (SEE NOTE)
1 PACKED CUP CHOPPED FRESH BASIL LEAVES
1/3 CUP FINELY GRATED PARMESAN
Place an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine the squash and onion, and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set aside.
In the meantime, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
Put the goat cheese in the bottom of a large serving bowl. Add the pasta and 1 cup of pasta water. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce.
Add the squash, onion, walnuts and the basil. Toss well, and season with salt and pepper. Top with Parmesan, and serve.
Note: To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 6 minutes Cool before using.