I can't think of a cozier Fall dinner than this Butternut Squash Penne with Sage and Toasted Walnuts. This pasta is full of flavor, a little spicy, savory, and salty topped with Pecorino Cheese. Simple and really delicious! It can be made vegan too! Just substitute the Pecorino for nutritional yeast.
I actually came up with this recipe accidentally one day when I had too much butternut squash leftover from making this Butternut Squash Curry Soup with Red Lentils I posted last week. The best kind of accident if you ask me. I used sage and thyme in this recipe and they work so well with the walnuts and the butternut squash. Sage is such an underappreciated herb in my opinion. I've been putting it on everything lately and I love frying it in butter, either vegan or regular. I know it's not the healthiest so you can skip it if you'd like but I think it takes the dish to a whole another level. It's that little something that takes it from great to amazing.
Now that it's colder, warm, hearty meals are all I'm looking for and this Butternut Squash Penne is just that! It's super easy to make. It may seem like there are a lot of steps but you do everything simultaneously so it only takes about 30 minutes.
There are four steps. First, you roast the nuts, that only takes about 5 minutes. Second, you roast the squash with fresh thyme and sage. Third, you cook the onion, sage, thyme, garlic, dry white wine, and navy beans. That only takes about 15 minutes so it's done by the time the butternut squash is ready. The last step is to cook the pasta and reserve some of the cooking water. I like to mix everything together in the pan I cooked the onions in. Sprinkle in some Pecorino cheese or nutritional yeast and gently toss. Serve sprinkled with some more cheese (because everything's better with more cheese, right?) and enjoy!
Like I mentioned, if you want to make this dish vegan, use vegan butter instead of regular butter and use nutritional yeast instead of the Pecorino sheep cheese.
Hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know if you make it! Tag me on instagram @thehealthfulideas or comment below. I love seeing you make my recipes!Print
Easy 30-minute penne with roasted butternut squash, sage, thyme, pecorino, and toasted walnuts. The perfect fall/winter pasta recipe! (GF)
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil (divided)
- Sea salt
- 4 cups chopped butternut squash
- 4-5 strings of thyme
- 10 sage leaves (plus more for garnish if desired)
- Sea salt, pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
- 2 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup navy beans, (from a can) drained and rinsed (or sub any other white beans)
- 200g gluten-free penne pasta
- ¼ cup pecorino cheese (sub parmesan or 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast if vegan) plus more for serving
- Start with the walnuts. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Add the walnuts to a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the avocado oil and sprinkle with some sea salt. Roast for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant and crunchy. Take them out of the oven and set aside until ready to serve.
- Bring the temperature of the oven up to 450°F (230°C).
- Onto a sheet pan add the butternut squash, 2 teaspoon avocado oil, 5 strings of thyme, sage leaves, sea salt and pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and toss to combine and coat well. Roast the squash for 20-25 minutes or until soft. While that’s roasting, cook the onion, and pasta.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and a pinch of sea salt. Cook for 10 minutes, add the chopped sage leaves, thyme leaves, minced garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Slowly pour in the wine and stir with a wooden spoon scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure nothing is sticking. Let that cook for a couple minutes until the wine reduces. Add the beans and toss. Take off heat.
- Cook your pasta according to package instructions and reserve ½ cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the beans along with the roasted squash and toss gently. Pour in about ¼ of the cooking water and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the pecorino. Toss, taste, and add more water if needed, cheese, or salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with more pecorino and enjoy!
Make it vegan: substitute the pecorino cheese for 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Keywords: pasta, butternut squash, sage, thyme, pecorino, vegetarian