Butternut squash soup may be my favorite fall comfort food, but this butternut squash pasta is now a close second. It’s a pretty easy throw-together pasta made from a classic fall flavor combo: butternut squash, sage, and walnuts. The sweet, caramelized squash plays perfectly off the earthy sage and nutty walnuts, and a little butter and pecorino add the perfect amount of richness. This is one we’ll have on repeat all season long.
To make it, simply roasted the squash until it’s tender and caramelized. Then, sauté the shallot, sage, walnuts, chickpeas, cooked butternut squash, and garlic until the chickpeas and squash get a little brown. Deglaze the pan with lemon juice and balsamic, and stir in the cooked pasta and a handful of leafy greens. Toss until the greens wilt, and serve with a generous grating of cheese and fresh parsley.
Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe Variations
This butternut squash pasta recipe can be customized a thousand ways. Here are a few suggestions:
- Omit the pecorino if you’re vegan.
- If you’re not vegan, try adding creamy feta or goat cheese, or use Parmesan instead of pecorino.
- If you eat meat, toss in some crispy pancetta for a nice salty bite.
- Swap the walnuts for pine nuts.
- Use your favorite type of pasta! I like spaghetti or linguine, but whatever you have on hand will work here.
I threw some chickpeas into this dish because I had some on hand to use up, and it ended up being delicious – I encourage you to take inspiration from what’s in your kitchen as well. Let me know what variations you try!
No matter what, this butternut squash pasta is a great dish to stay in and eat with someone you love.
If you love this butternut squash pasta…
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter (or vegan butter or more olive oil)
- 1 small shallot, sliced
- ¼ cup chopped sage leaves
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup cooked chickpeas
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Big squeeze of lemon
- Splash balsamic vinegar
- 4-6 ounces spaghetti or linguine (and save some pasta water)
- A few handfuls of chopped spinach (or kale or chard)
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- Grated pecorino cheese (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the butternut squash cubes with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 20 minutes, or until they're soft and mostly cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Cook pasta in salty water until al dente and reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter, then add the shallot and cook until translucent. Add the chopped sage and cook for another 30 seconds, then add the walnuts, chickpeas, butternut squash cubes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chickpeas and squash brown a bit (but before the garlic burns).
- Add a big squeeze of lemon and a good splash of balsamic and stir.
- Add the cooked pasta and spinach. Use tongs to gently toss the pasta with everything in the pan, allowing the greens to wilt. Add pasta water to help loosen it (I used about ¼ cup).
- Add some grated pecorino at this step if you wish.
- Remove from heat, then stir in the chopped parsley.
- Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with extra grated cheese.