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Predictably Perfect: Roasted Squash with Whole Wheat Pasta

Roasted Squash with Whole Wheat Pasta

We all have our favourite flavours, right? The ones that keep tempting us, year after year, and become mainstays in our home cooking. Also the ones that as food bloggers we have to watch ourselves on, lest we become known as “the girl who writes that goat’s cheese blog“.

For me, those flavours include: goat’s cheese (clearly), caramelized onions, butternut squash, leeks, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, cumin, ginger, coriander, thyme and lemon. (And those are just the savoury ones; you’re lucky this isn’t a dessert blog!) Anything that combines two or more of these favourite flavours is bound to win my affection.

Come Autumn, when the squashes start appearing at the market, I go especially crazy for any combination of butternut squash with onions, nuts, sage, thyme and/or cheese. I’ve combined these ingredients, in various permutations, in countless pastas, risottos, tarts and salads. Yet still I go back for more.

Roasted Squash with Whole Wheat Pasta

With that in mind, today’s dish is a painfully obvious one. Yes, the onions here are roasted and so technically not caramelized, but the squash, goat’s cheese and thyme are all present and accounted for. Sigh, I’m a predictable little thing, aren’t I?

Heidi‘s recipe for Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash has been on my “to-make” list for some time, and a recent lunch at home with Andrew proved the perfect opportunity to add it to my roster of squash dishes. Since I’ve made rather a lot of farro-based salads lately, I was planning on replacing the farro here with brown rice or quinoa. Unfortunately, Andrew’s alarmed face stopped that idea in its tracks, and pasta it was.

Roasted Squash with Whole Wheat Pasta

To that pasta (whole wheat, so it’s not so bad) I added the roasted vegetables, some toasted nuts and some crumbled goat’s milk cheese. A simple balsamic vinaigrette brought it all together perfectly. And yes, it might have been obvious, boring and run-of-the-mill, but it was also very, very good.

Oh well- you can’t fight city hall, can you?

Note: This dish is meant to be warm and not hot, so don’t worry about finishing all the steps at the same time. It’s also good at room temperature, or even chilled.

Roasted Squash with Whole Wheat Pasta

  • Roasted Squash with Whole Wheat Pasta
  • adapted from 101 CookbooksFarro and Roasted Butternut Squash
  • feeds 4
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
    1 small red onion, peeled and cut into 12 lengthwise wedges
    4 Tbs. olive oil
    1/2 tsp. dried thyme (use 1 tsp. fresh if you have it)
    pinch of sea salt
    150g whole wheat pasta (conchiglie and orecchiette work well)
    2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
    20g pinenuts
    30g walnuts, chopped roughly
    sea salt and black pepper, to taste
    30g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Put the cubed butternut squash in a shallow baking dish and scatter the pieces of onion (break them up as best you can) over the top. Add 2 Tbs. of olive oil, the thyme and a pinch of sea salt and toss well. Roast, tossing every 7 minutes or so, for approximately 25 minutes, until the squash is tender and browned. When you remove it from the oven, stir in 1 Tbs. of balsamic vinegar and set the dish aside to cool.

    2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. When it’s done, drain and remove to a large bowl. Toss with 1 Tbs. of olive oil and 1 Tbs. of balsamic vinegar and set aside.

    3. Heat a small frying pan over high heat. When it’s hot, add the nuts and cook for 3-4 minutes until nicely toasted (toss frequently). Remove from heat to cool.

    4. When the squash and onions are cool enough to handle, remove roughly half the onions (I chose the burnt, ie less pretty, ones) and chop them finely. Dump them into the bowl containing the pasta, followed by the squash and rest of the onions, two thirds of the nuts and the remaining 1 Tbs. of olive oil. Mix everything together gently and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over the goat’s cheese and the rest of the nuts and serve.

10 comments

  1. Rose says:

    Ooooh! That looks amazing! We love squash (and feta, and pasta and caramelized onions….)

  2. Dana says:

    Are you my long lost sister? I love every single thing you mentioned with a passion. This dish looks so incredibly awesome to me. I usually avoid whole wheat pasta because it just doesn’t satisfy the pasta craving for me and I think it can taste muddy. But with the oh-so-bright other flavors in the dish, I’m sure it worked perfectly.

  3. Ele says:

    Rose- All those things are so easy to love, aren’t they?

    Dana- Hmm, possibly- we do both have the curly brown hair thing going! ;) I agree about the whole wheat pasta, I only like to use it when there are a lot of other robust flavours going on. If I’m indulging in some classic Italian dish where the pasta is really meant to shine, it’s gotta be white.

  4. I don’t believe I’ve come across your blog before, so I wouldn’t know whether to be bored by this recipe. However, I don’t think I would even if I was your most loyal reader because that is an excellent flavor combination and the meal looks beautiful and tasty!

  5. Cherry says:

    The first squash appeared in my organic veg box this week and now I know what I am going to do with it. Like you, I just love the flavour of roasted squash and adding tangy goats cheese sounds just perfect!

    Thanks for the inspiration, Ele!

  6. [...] Predictably Perfect: Roasted Squash with Whole Wheat Pasta [...]

  7. Hilary says:

    Do you know what would be amazing added to this, Goat Cheese Girl? (Though there are already a lot of flavours going on, I know.) Some fresh sage leaves fried in a bit of butter. I added some to a ravioli and roasted squash dish we had for dinner the other night and they were sooo good. They get all crunchy.

  8. Ele says:

    Hilary- Oh yes, I love a little sage with my goat cheese. I probably would have added some, but I didn’t have any in the house at the time.

  9. [...] cream, it will make a delicious meal. The squash of course will be enjoyed during the week; I can always think of something to do with [...]

  10. [...] intrigued by the vegetarian meatballs, Lindsay. I like chickpeas! -Ele at The Kitchenist calls her Roasted Squash with Whole Wheat Pasta predictably perfect. Nice! Tags: healthy recipe of the week, ricotta, spinach, walnuts, whole [...]