Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash
1 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2” cubes
3 TBS sunflower oil, separated
1 tsp salt, plus salt to season pasta water
1 lb penne pasta
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 TBS grated Parmigiano cheese (optional)
2 TBS chopped herbs (parsley or sage)
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1. Preheat oven to 425º. Toss cubed squash with 1 TBS of oil and 1 tsp salt. Mix well. Spread squash onto a baking pan in a single layer and roast for 30 minutes, or until fully soft. Increase the oven temperature to broil, and broil the squash for 2 minutes, or until you see spots of golden brown flesh.
2. As the squash is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a good handful of salt to the water. Cook penne according to the package instructions, or until al dente, and drain. Reserve 1/3 cup of this cooking water, adding this water and half of the squash into a blender to puree until it has the consistency of tomato sauce.
3. Add remaining 2 TBS of the oil into a large pan over low heat. Add the chopped onion to the pan and saute until the onion has softened. Add the squash puree and roasted squash cubes to the pan and cook for another minute. Taste and adjust for seasoning, if needed. Add the drained pasta to the sauce mixture and remove the pan from the heat.
4. Stir in the Parmigiano, if using, fresh herbs and red pepper flakes. Serve warm.