This butternut squash pasta recipe is without a doubt one of the most phenomenal recipes I’ve ever created, and I’m so excited to share it with you! It contains many components that work extremely well together such as roasted butternut squash, porcini mushrooms, white wine, shallots, roasted garlic, fried sage, and toasted pine nuts. There are several steps involved, so make this dish when you are not rushed. If you have the time and follow the instructions, I promise, it will be so worth it! 😋
The roasted butternut squash and roasted garlic can be prepared ahead of time—separately or at the same time—and added when the recipe calls for them. If the latter, just roast both according to the squash recipe instructions with the garlic on the top rack of the oven, checking on the garlic after 30 minutes and removing it after about 35-40 minutes (it’s ok to go a little over on the garlic, but not the squash).
To rehydrate the dried porcini mushrooms, you can use either white wine, broth, or water. If you use white wine or broth, make sure to add that to the dish as well for extra flavor. I recommend chopping or slicing the mushrooms beforehand. (I forgot this step, which is why they’re pictured whole.) This is what they look like after soaking in white wine for about 15 minutes:
For this recipe, I chose to use shallots for their richer, sweeter flavor, but you can use an onion if preferred. Brown the shallots (or onion) in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes in a large pot.
After a few minutes, the perfect color and flavor are achieved:
Chicken makes a great addition to this dish, but it is optional. If you choose to go vegetarian, skip to step #5 in the recipe instructions.
Cook the chicken medallions in the pot with the shallots, turning frequently to prevent sticking. Add a little extra olive oil if needed. Make sure each piece is thoroughly cooked by cutting into a couple of the larger pieces. They are done when they are completely white inside (no sign of pinkness whatsoever).
For the pasta, keeping with the theme of the dish, I used Trader Joe’s Fall Zucchette butternut squash pasta (which was my inspiration for creating this recipe). But you can use any kind you wish, or even couscous or quinoa would work.
Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan (no oil) for a few minutes, shaking the pan frequently to avoid burning. When that’s done, proceed to fry the sage leaves for the garnish. I also mixed some crumbled crispy sage—along with the oil used to fry the leaves—right into the pasta pot for even more intense flavor.
The dried seasonings I used consist of an Italian blend (rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme, basil, and oregano), in addition to coriander, sea salt, and ground black pepper…plus a little extra rosemary and sage for good measure. I sure do like my seasonings. 🙂
Once plated, add some freshly-grated cheese, toasted pine nuts, and fried sage garnish, and voilà! A masterpiece is born! When everything comes together, this is the end result:
The cheese I used was Pecorino Romano, but other hard grating cheeses will work just as well such as Parmigiano Reggiano, or even Grana Padano. It really depends on your taste preference.
If you decide to make this recipe, I’d love to know what you thought of it or if any changes were made. Please leave a comment below!
A perfect dish for that special occasion or anytime, this butternut squash pasta recipe is wildly delicious and delightfully satiating! The many layers of flavor and texture create a symphony of taste with every bite! Great with or without chicken.
- 1 large butternut squash, cut in cubes and roasted (recipe link in #1 below)
- roasted garlic (recipe link in #1 below)
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in white wine, broth, or water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (more if needed)
- 3-4 shallots, minced
- 6 boneless chicken breasts, cut into medallions (optional)
- 1 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, or 2 cups broth + 2 cups water
- 2-3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- fresh sage leaves, fried (recipe link in #7 below)
- 14 ounces butternut squash pasta (such as Trader Joe’s Fall Zucchette)
- ideas for seasonings: rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme, basil, oregano, sea salt, ground black pepper
- Pecorino Romano or other hard cheese, freshly grated
Rehydrate dried porcini mushrooms: In a small saucepan, heat the wine, broth, or water until hot but not boiling. (Make sure to use more than enough liquid to completely cover the mushrooms, as they will expand in size.) Turn off heat and add mushrooms, fully submerging them; let sit for about 15-20 minutes or until soft.
In a large pot, cook shallots in olive oil over medium-low heat until lightly browned (about 3-4 minutes). Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
(Skip to step 5 for vegetarian version.) Add chicken medallions into the same pot, and cook over medium heat until fully cooked, adding more oil as needed. Turn frequently to prevent sticking. Test by cutting into largest piece making sure the inside is no longer pink. If in doubt, cook for a few minutes longer.
Add wine and broth/water to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Toast pine nuts: Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat in a dry pan (no oil) for about 4-5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to avoid burning. Remove from pan and set aside.
Once wine and broth/water come to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until almost al dente (approximately 7-10 minutes, depending on the type of pasta used).
Reduce heat to low. Add the porcini mushrooms, along with the wine or stock used to rehydrate them, and stir. (If only water was used for rehydration, the water can be discarded.)
Serve with freshly-grated cheese, toasted pine nuts, and fried sage garnish. Buon appétito! 👌