Easy Dinner Recipe: Pasta with Butternut Squash and Spinach

November 2, 2014

Pasta is my go-to dinner when I need a quick and easy dinner.  This fall inspired recipe combines roasted butternut squash and spinach with farfalle (bow tie pasta).  This dish is extremely versatile and you can easily swap out the ingredients to create something completely new and exciting for another meal during the week.  For example, goat cheese can be substituted for another pungent salty cheese like blue cheese or feta.  Similarly, kale, Swiss chard or other dark leafy can be used in place of spinach.  Pasta with butternut squash and spinach will soon become a family fall favorite.

Farfalle with Butternut Squash, Spinach and Goat Cheese
Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/4-inch cubes)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 lb. box regular or whole wheat farfalle  
2 cups shredded spinach
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Toss butternut squash with one tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, and pumpkin pie spice. Spread the squash into a single layer on a baking tray. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until squash is tender and starting to caramelize.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add a hefty sprinkling of salt and cook farfalle according to package directions.  

Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant.  Add the shredded spinach and come for an additional 3 to 5 minutes until the leaves begin to wilt. Add the pasta and stir the ingredients until well combined.

Place the pasta and spinach into a large bowl and add the roasted butternut squash.  Toss again until well combined.  Add the goat cheese and roasted pine nuts to the bowl and lightly mix so the goat cheese crumbles are evenly distributed without turning into clumps.  Serve immediately.

*Note: Butternut squash can be roasted in advance.  While this version is vegetarian, feel free to add Italian sausage crumbles, steak, or leftover rotisserie chicken.

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