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Pasta with Winter Squash and Pine Nuts

Yield 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup pasta mixture and 2 teaspoons cheese)
The texture of the squash breaks down as it cooks to create a smooth, hearty sauce for the pasta in this one-dish meal. The slightly sweet squash contrasts with the sharp Parmesan cheese. Use the grating attachment of a food processor to shred the squash.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and shredded
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

Nutrition Information

  • calories 351
  • caloriesfromfat 28 %
  • fat 11 g
  • satfat 4.7 g
  • monofat 3.8 g
  • polyfat 1.3 g
  • protein 13.8 g
  • carbohydrate 50.8 g
  • fiber 3.8 g
  • cholesterol 20 mg
  • iron 2.5 mg
  • sodium 554 mg
  • calcium 209 mg

How to Make It

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add pine nuts and sage; remove from heat. Remove from pan, and set aside.

  2. Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 cup water and squash to pan. Cook for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add remaining water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of water is absorbed before adding the next (about 15 minutes). Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper.

  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Combine pasta and squash mixture in a large bowl. Add reserved 1/2 cup pasta water, butter mixture, and 3/4 cup cheese; toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Serve immediately.