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Categories: Main courses, Vegetarian

Penne with butternut squash, onions, sage and Parmesan

Penne with butternut squash, onions, sage and Parmesan
Los Angeles Times

Who needs bicep curls at the gym when you can lug home a couple of winter squash? But rather than using it as a weight, try it as a side dish. My favorite method for cooking squash is to cube ... Read more

Active work and total preparation time: 25 minutes | Serves 4
Note: Morgan is co-author of "Cooking for the Week: Leisurely Weekend Cooking for Easy Weekday Meals," (Chronicle Books, $18.95).
  • Salt
  • 1 pound penne
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked, cubed butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup braising liquid from squash
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1Trim the top and bottom from the squash; peel it and halve lengthwise. Discard the seeds and strings, and then cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Over low heat, melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter in a large, deep skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of minced fresh sage, 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves and some ground pepper. Cook less than a minute, just until fragrant. Add the squash plus 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a serving dish.

Step 2Set aside 2 1/2 cups of squash plus 3/4 cup of the liquid for the pasta recipe. Reduce the remaining liquid in the pan until it is syrupy and then pour it over the squash and serve garnished with a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan.

Step 3Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 4While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened but not brown, about 4 minutes. Add the sage and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the squash, braising liquid and parsley. Cook just until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5Drain the pasta and place it in a warm serving bowl. Add the squash mixture from the skillet, plus the Parmesan, and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Each serving:
501 calories; 1,054 mg sodium; 69 mg cholesterol; 27 grams fat; 16 grams saturated fat; 50 grams carbohydrates; 16 grams protein; 3.62 grams fiber.
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