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Butternut Squash and Parsley Penne

Serves 4

Roasting releases the sweetness of squash, while chili pepper adds spark to this pasta meal. Garnish with Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. For a vegetarian-friendly meal, use vegetable stock.


  • 1 1/2 pounds pre-cut butternut squash cubes or 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound whole wheat or whole grain penne rigate
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves separated, each finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, then grated or finely chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, such as Fresno or jalapeño, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions, whites and greens separated, each finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • A handful of grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 475°F. On a baking sheet, drizzle the squash with some of the EVOO; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast until just tender and brown at the edges, about 17-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the penne and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta; reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1/4 cup EVOO in a large skillet, four turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the parsley stems, garlic, ginger, chili pepper and scallion whites; swirl for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and reduce the heat to simmer. Add half a ladleful of the pasta cooking water to the sauce. Add the pasta, parsley leaves, scallion greens, squash and cheese to the skillet. Stir to combine. Adjust the seasonings, to taste.