If pumpkin is my idea of heaven, then its cousin, butternut squash, is not far off.
I didn’t discover butternut squash until a few years ago, when I decided to try butternut squash ravioli at a restaurant. It was love at first bite. Ever since then, I’ve taken to cooking it–a lot–and one of my favorite recipes is one that Giada De Laurentiis had on Giada At Home a few seasons ago.
At first, I had to wrinkle my nose at goat cheese being added to the mix. I was used to eating butternut squash with warm, sweet flavors (cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, etc.), but tangy goat cheese? Eh? I decided to give it a go anyway, because I’d made plenty of Giada’s recipes and they always seemed to turn out delish.
Guess what? This one was no different. It was FANTASTIC. And just because I’m a sucker for trying to get in as many veggies as I can, I adapted it to include one more veggie: another squash cousin (and actually, my favorite of them all), zucchini.
This one’s great for packing on a picnic (or to work) because it’s just as delicious at room temperature as it is warm and fresh off the stove. I do have an ever-so-slight preference for it fresh off the stove, but trust me, it’s still great at room temperature–in fact, that’s how I’ll be eating it later today, when my family and I go to Monterey for a day trip to celebrate my mother’s birthday tomorrow.
Penne With Butternut Squash, Zucchini, & Goat Cheese (adapted from Giada de Laurentiis recipe; serves 1)
- 2 oz. uncooked whole wheat penne (or regular penne, if you prefer; I like the whole grain variety :))
- 1 cup cubed butternut squash
- 1 medium zucchini, cubed
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste (plus more salt for cooking the pasta)
- 1 oz. soft goat cheese
- 1/2 tbsp grated parmesan (I do splurge on Parmegiano Reggiano for this; the flavor is hard to duplicate with the other kinds of parmesan)
- 1/2 tbsp grated pecorino romano