Pasta with Squash, and Grilled Beets with Goat Cheese

Pin It Every other Sunday, I get most of the day to myself. It's nice. Sometimes I get bored, but mostly I tire myself out either in the kitchen or in front of the TV. Today, I was productive. Not only did I make a fancy dinner, but also chicken enchiladas for a rainy day, if it ever gets cooler than 80 degrees here in Southern California.

This weekend, I also sorted through my cooking magazines, a year's worth, and finally cut out the recipes I would actually make. I have to tell you, there weren't all that many. But this pasta with butternut squash and sage was one of them. This one came from Cook's Illustrated. My mother-in-law gifted this magazine to me last Christmas, and after almost a year, I still can't figure out if I like their recipes. Most of the time they seem so long and too complicated. But I think that's their thing. Trying to prove to us how many tests they've done, and what they've learned, very rarel is it groundbreaking. After reading through some of their recipes, I often think to myself, why would they even test this technique, it doesn't even make sense!

I made a few changes to the recipe. I used more sage and bacon, and skipped on the almonds.

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sage
5 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
12 large fresh sage leaves, minced
1 medium butternut squash, more or less two pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 tbsp butter
6 scallions, sliced thin
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp sugar
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb of penne pasta
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, and more for serving
salt and pepper
1) Cook bacon in a large skillet, until crisp. At the end, add half of the sage. Move mixture to another plate.
2) To the bacon fat, add squash and let it caramelize, stirring occasionally, a total of 10-15 minutes. Add butter to squash, along with scallions, nutmeg, sugar, salt and pepper, the rest of the sage, and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
3) Add broth and begin to simmer until squash is tender, about 3-5 minutes.
4) Meanwhile cook the pasta, al dente. When the pasta is cooked, transfer it to the skillet with the squash. Add some pasta water if you need to adjust the consistency. Add back bacon and sage mixture, and toss with cheese.

To accompany my pasta, I also grilled beets, and topped them off with goat cheese.
Grilled Beets with Goat Cheese
Makes enough for 4 people, however I just plated a few for myself
5 medium beets (I like to use red and yellow), sliced thin
olive oil
salt and pepper
goat cheese, about 2 oz
1) Wash and peel beets. Slice and brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2) Grill for about 4 minutes a side.
3) Top with cheese, slices or crumbled.

So the pasta was good. It wasn't great. But it was hearty and tasted like Fall. Thank god there was bacon. I'd make it again, for a squash lover.

The beets were delicious. There's really not much you can do to ruin the beautiful union between beets and goat cheese.


  1. i have left overs! i would fed ex but, i know i would never get my tupperware back. so, you get nothing!

  2. The beets look wicked nice!! It's making my mouth water....