Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Butternut Squash Pasta

I don't know if I am patriotic or not. But, I am very faithful to Indian cuisine. I don't go to any other restaurants unless forced (at work usually) except Indian restaurants. In the past 11 years that I have lived in U.S, I have been to 'Olive Garden' only once and I didn't even like the food over there. I know many of you might be wondering what kind of person this is, but it is just me. I make pasta at home rarely. When I do, it is nothing like you can imagine an italian style pasta. I might use some of their spices, method, but I always make it spicy to suit our palettes.

One of my friends had given a book 'The Vegetarian Table - Italy' by Food and Wine Books. Author of this book is Julia Della Croce. I had misplaced that book for couple of years and I found it couple of days back. There was a side dish based on butternut squash, olives. I used that base to make pasta as a main course. I loved the final product. Here goes my take on this..

  • Medium sized pasta like penne, rotini, macaroni of your choice (I used whole wheat rotini) - 1 1/2 cups
  • Tomato sauce - 1/3 cup
  • Butternut squash - 1/2 of a medium sized skin and seeds removed and diced into 1 inch cubes.
  • Red onion - 1 big diced into chunks
  • Garlic - 2 pods crushed
  • Olive oil - 3 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper - to taste (I used about 1 TBSP)
  • Cayenne pepper - 1/2 tsp or to taste
  • Olives - Drained and sliced about 1/3 cup
  • Thyme - 1 tsp if fresh or 1/2 tsp dry (I used dry)
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add crushed garlic, stir for a 30 seconds. Add chopped onions. Some salt and cook till onions are done. Now add the diced butternut squash, stir. Add about 1/2 cup of water and cover and let it cook. Meanwhile, bring a big pot of water to which salt is added generously. Add the pasta and cook till al-dente (About 8- 10 minutes). Drain and reserve some pasta water (about 1/2 cup). When butternut squash is cooked, add olives, tomato sauce, pepper powder, cayenne powder, thyme and stir. Bring it to a slow simmer and add the cooked pasta. Add some pasta water to form a sauce with the vegetables. (Don't worry, it'll be absorbed by the time it is done) Adjust the seasonings and cover the lid and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes and turn off the heat. Serve hot or warm. Left overs can be warmed and served. This was a hearty meal by itself.

Happy Cooking!! Pin It


  1. The pasta's look yummy, adding butternut is a good idea.

  2. hey that something new..great pasta with veg...like the combo



  3. Wow this is new to me, Will give it a try soon!

  4. Yumm!!!pasta looks delicious and fantastic..

  5. No one needs to force me to go to Indian food! I'd go there everyday for every meal if I could afford it. :) I like this recipe. It looks great!

  6. good to find experimenting with pasta the indian way, like me! i add a dollop of fresh cream and cook a minute more in the end. tastes good. pepper, tomato, garlic, cream, macaroni, salt, a pinch of sugar and potatoes/pumpkin/carrot is all i use. method is same as yours :-)


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