Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta with Creamy Walnut Pesto
Three Farm Daughters
Sweet, caramelized chunks of bronze-roasted butternut squash are always a treat… But when you tumble them over this elegant walnut pesto and scatter over some peppery arugula leaves, you’ve got one of those pasta recipes dreams are made of.
Luscious, satisfying and ever-so-fancy tasting, you’ll wonder how this gorgeous pasta recipe didn’t make it into your repertoire sooner!
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the cubed squash in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle generously with oil, season with salt and pepper, then toss until cubes are glistening and evenly coated with oil. Spread out the pieces on the tray with a little space between each - this ensures each cube will caramelize nicely in the oven.
Transfer baking sheet to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the squash is tender and golden brown. For best results, gently turn over cubes after 20 minutes to ensure even browning on all sides.
While the squash is roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and prepare the walnut pesto.
To make the creamy pesto, pour the toasted walnuts and garlic into a small food processor or blender. Whiz in quick pulses until very finely chopped, being sure to stop before the walnuts are ground into a paste. Alternatively, pound to a fine rubble in a mortar and pestle.
Meanwhile, cook cavatappi according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of starchy cooking water before draining.
In a separate frypan, heat 1 tbsp oil over low heat. Gently sauté walnut-garlic mixture for 1 minute until fragrant. Pour in the cream and bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened, around 3 minutes. Stir through parmesan and season to taste.
While the sauce and pasta finish cooking, remove the roasted butternut squash from the oven and season to taste.
Finally, return the drained pasta to the pot and pour over the creamy walnut pesto. Stir until combined, adding spoonfuls of reserved cooking water until a loose, velvety sauce forms and clings to the pasta surface.
Pour pasta into a serving dish and top with the golden cubes of roasted butternut squash. Scatter handfuls of arugula over the top, sprinkle on some more parmesan and enjoy!