This is one of our favorite vegetarian dishes. I can’t even remember where my inspiration came from for this recipe. Before I made this dish, I would never have made pasta with no base sauce.
You’ll need a really good mature (sharp) cheese to carry this recipe off, I use vintage Gouda. I also use fresh homemade pasta, but it works equally well with dry pasta. This dish has the combination of al-dente pasta, scattered with mature (sharp) cheese and toasted walnuts, which are highlighted by the sweetness from the winter squash and the savory notes from the summer squash, all tossed in the light lemon juice and olive oil dressing. It’s simply sublime!
J doesn’t talk during this dish – he just enjoys every single bite! After he’s finished, he predictably says “that was tasty!”
WINTER & SUMMER SQUASH PASTA
- 1 kg (2 ¼ lb) prepared butternut squash, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 t olive oil to roast the butternut squash
- ½ t olive oil to fry the garlic, shallots/onion and courgette (zucchini)
- 1-2 small shallots or a very small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 225 g (½ lb) courgette (zucchini), sliced in half lengthwise, then cut into 1 cm (½ inch) diagonal slices
- 235 g (8 ¼ oz) dried pasta*
- 40 g (1 ½ oz) walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 40 g (1 ½ oz) extra mature (sharp) cheese**
- 1 t olive oil for tossing
- 2 t lemon juice for tossing
- Salt and pepper to taste
* Feel free to use one portion of fresh pasta if you wish. Adjust the cooking time for the fresh pasta, to 2-3 minutes just before tossing the dish together.
** I use vintage Gouda
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash chunks in olive oil to coat and then place onto a large baking tray lined with parchment/silicone. Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly caramelized and tender, tossing about half way through cooking.
3. In the last 10-15 minutes of the cooking time for the butternut squash. Pour some just boiled water into a large sauce-pan, salt the water and bring back to the boil. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions – this can vary from 5-15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat a medium/large frying pan (skillet) until hot. Add the oil. Fry the garlic and shallots until golden and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Toss in the courgettes (zucchini) and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until just cooked through – you want them cooked, with a little bite, not soggy.
5. Drain the pasta and place into a large bowl. Gently toss^ the butternut squash, courgette (zucchini) mix, cheese, walnuts, olive oil/lemon and seasoning together until well combined. Serve, enjoy!
^ You need to be pretty gentle when tossing the pasta, as the butternut squash is very soft. Being heavy handed will result in the butternut squash being turned into mush.