recipe: penne with butternut squash and goat cheese

We eat super healthy 98% of the time but every now and then we have to make something that we truly LOVE to eat. At our house, that is a big bowl of pasta, a seasonal salad and a nice bottle of wine. We love cooking and coming up with new recipes and this one has been a fan favorite. Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese is perfect for the transition to fall and always a crowd pleaser. Whether we are cooking for our families or entertaining guests, this dish is easy to make and always gets rave reviews.


The meal is hearty, comforting and just what the doctor ordered after a long week of work. Serve it up in a big beautiful bowl or a lovely platter (from Coco of course) to further impress your guests. Try pairing this dish with our new favorite wine, Netzl–it is so so good and surprisingly under $15! This light and fresh un-oaked Austrian Gruner was recommended by our good friend Renee at Unwined Wine & Gourmet and after trying the two together, we found that she was spot on with her pairing advice! Find the recipe below and a link to find the perfect wine pairing below. Enjoy!

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Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 (2 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4 –inch cubes
1 onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
Olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound penne pasta
1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted ** chef notes
1 packed cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet, liberally with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to bite. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 ¼ cups of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese is melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

** Chef Notes: To toast the walnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 minutes. Cool completely before using.

Find the perfect wine for your dish by contacting Renee at Unwined Wine & Gourmet.

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