I love pasta and am always trying to find new ways to fix it. Today’s recipe is one inspired by Rachael Ray’s Pepita Pesto Pasta with Roasted Squash. It’s a delicious pasta with roasted butternut squash, and a pesto that doesn’t have any nuts. This time around I made a few changes to the original recipe which calls for pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and jalapeño or serrano peppers in the pesto. I didn’t have any pumpkin seeds, so I just omitted them, and I decided to use a roasted red pepper in place of the jalapeño. I also added roasted red peppers to the pasta. This pesto is absolutely delicious, and would also be fantastic on chicken and veggies if you’re trying to cut down on carbs.
First you put 3 red bell peppers in the oven to roast, take them out, put them in a plastic bag, let them cool, peel of the skins, and remove the seeds.
Then you peel a butternut squash, cut it into bite size chunks, and bake it.
While the squash is roasting you make the pesto, it’s super simple. Toss some cilantro, basil, and parsley in a food processor with Pecorino Romano cheese, one roasted pepper, garlic, lime juice and zest, a roasted red pepper, and olive oil.
Cook the penne according to package directions, reserve one cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta. Then combine the pasta, pesto, and reserved water.
Toss in the squash, and remaining roasted red peppers, top with extra Pecorino Romano cheese, and serve.
Pesto Pasta with Butternut Squash and Roasted Red Pepper
3 red bell peppers
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds butternut squash – peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
salt & pepper
1/3 cup each basil, cilantro, and parsley
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese + more for serving
2 cloves garlic – grated
1 lime – zest and juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 box penne pasta (I used whole grain)
– Preheat the oven to 450 ºF
– Place red bell peppers in the oven, turning every few minutes until all sides are blackened. Remove from the oven, place in a plastic bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap, let cool for about 5 minutes, then peel, and remove seeds, cut into chunks
– Peel the butternut squash, cut into bite size pieces, cover with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and toss to coat. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until soft
– In a food processor combine one roasted red pepper, herbs, cheese, garlic, lime juice and zest. While the food processor is on drizzle in olive oil until everything is combined
– Cook penne according to box directions, reserving 1 cup of pasta water before draining
– Return the penne to the pot, add the pesto and reserved cooking water, and stir to combine
– Stir the roasted butternut squash and two roasted red peppers into the pasta
– Serve the pasta, topped with the Pecorino Romano cheese