Cavatappi with Roasted Butternut Squash

Can I get a big AMEN from everyone who’s happy that bikini season is behind us? I hope you’ve shoved that swimsuit to the back of your underwear drawer and are enjoying the deliciousness of autumn! Don’t delay, act now! I just ate the above photo shoot for breakfast, and it was heavenly!

I’m practically falling all over myself to share this recipe with you today; not only is it extremely thrifty, but it’s the absolute epitome of fall comfort food: roasted butternut squash, tender pasta, earthy fresh sage, and a hefty helping of Parmesan cheese, wow. I’m in love!

I’ll tell you what, those DamKids were skeptical when they saw the sheet pan packed with cubes of gorgeous, golden squash. But as usual, my girls stepped up to the plate (so to speak) and gobbled up the finished product. Who could resist? The squash breaks down just slightly; its starches and the Parmesan thicken the sauce in a way that’s almost similar to a good mac n’ cheese.

No Thank You Boy ate around the squash and was not exactly doing cartwheels over this meal. A foregone conclusion, of course. I don’t even bother getting my knickers in a twist over his dining habits any more.

I’m of the opinion that this dish would make an outstanding first course at any autumn dinner party…it would also be lovely topped with toasted breadcrumbs, baked for a few minutes, and served as a side dish.

Or, you can eat it for breakfast like I did.

Happy Wednesday!


Serves: 4 as a main course

Adapted from

  • 1 pound cavatappi pasta (DaVinci Shortcuts are on sale, look for the ‘twists’)
  • 1 – 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into ½” pieces (on sale)
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. chicken broth (plus additional to thin if necessary)
  • 1 t. chopped fresh sage, plus additional for garnish if desired
  • ½ t. salt
  • 3 T. butter, cut into cubes (I didn’t bother using this)
  • 1 c. finely grated Parmesan, plus additional for serving

Preheat the oven to 450. In a large bowl, toss the cubed squash with olive oil to coat (approximately 1 ½ tablespoons or so). Season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Spread squash on a sheet pan with sides; roast squash for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, continue to cook for another 5 -10 minutes or until squash is tender and beginning to brown in spots. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions on package until al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta cooking water. Drain pasta; rinse lightly, and drain again. Return the pasta to the pot.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic until pale golden, about a minute. Add the chicken broth, sage, roasted squash, and salt and simmer for five minutes or so. Add the cubed butter and stir until incorporated.

Add the squash mixture and the Parmesan cheese to the pasta; stir to combine season with salt and pepper to taste. If mixture seems dry, add the reserved pasta water (or additional chicken broth). Serve in shallow pasta bowls; pass additional cheese at the table.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | November 4th, 2009