It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Can you believe it? You know the years are flying by (aka you’re getting older) when you often say something like “It feels like Thanksgiving was just yesterday.” Oh no. It has indeed been another year. We both adore Thanksgiving, and of course, we have our own individual reasons for that. The abundance of good food eaten with good people ranks high. Amir will be eating his turkey in Vegas this year, and I’ll do a double celebration with a family dinner followed by a family of friends dinner. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, there are lists to write, pantries to double check and nerves to calm. Keep your energy high by eating well in the days leading up to the big turkey feast. This easy pasta dish fits the bill.
It’s the season of winter squash! Butternut squash makes its fall debut on this site, and we’re happy it’s back. Just about this time last year, there was a butternut squash soup that mixed and matched layers of spice in each spoonful. This time, a butternut squash salad would be on deck. Roasting the squash and red onion releases their natural sweetness. Toss the vegetables in a lemon scented cream sauce with al dente pasta, and it’s a filling vegetarian meal or a side dish. Basil is the chosen herb to top it all off, but there’s no doubt parsley and even rosemary would be spot on alternatives. The salad is just as good a room temperature as it is straight from the stove. While you may be stressing about what to make for Thanksgiving, at least you don’t have to worry what you’ll eat at the top of the week. Good luck with your menu planning, and of course, keep racking up the reasons why you should be thankful this year!
Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion Pasta Salad – Serves 8
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 large red onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
1 pound penne pasta, cooked
1. Toss the squash and onion with 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. Divide between two baking sheets and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes or until soft. Stir occasionally.
2. Remove the baking sheets from the oven, sprinkle the slivered garlic on top, toss, then bake another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
3. In a separate pan, melt the butter and flour over medium heat, stirring constantly to create a thick paste. Cook for approximately 2 minutes.
4. Whisk in the cream and mix well, cooking for another 2-3 minutes before stirring in the lemon zest and the remaining salt. Remove the pan from heat.
5. Carefully add the roasted vegetables and cooked pasta to a large serving dish, pouring the cream sauce on top. Spread the basil over everything and toss well to combine.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.