Giada’s Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

I had a Halloween costume party this weekend and it was awesome. Everyone brought a Halloween related dish and the prize for the costume contest was a pickled brain (which was really pickled cauliflower). The first round of the contest was tied between a Tin Man and my dog Sookie who I dressed up as Super-Dog. She had her own cape and everything. The second round made David the Tin Man the winner. He won the brain but we gave Sookie a doggie treat anyway for being a good sport 🙂

The apartment was decorated with hanging paper bats and spiderweb covered all the bookcases. The pantry was filled with witch’s ingredients like pickled brain, eye of newt (black-eyed peas in a jar), moon-shrooms (white button mushrooms) and lady’s fingers. It was cute. Also I decorated the top of surfaces with different gourds, like squashes and small pumpkins. Now that I do not need them any longer for decoration, we can cook them up and eat them. YUM!

This recipe originally came from I usually am not a big Giada watcher. I tend to stick with Paula Dean or Guy Fiere, but when I was look up neat recipe to go with squash, the picture of her pasta immediately attracted me to it.


  • 1 (2-pound) Butternut, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (it made about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium Onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste (whoops I forgot to put them in the picture)
  • 1 pound Penne Pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Goat Cheese
  • 1 cup chopped Pecans, toasted
  • 1 packed cup chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, for sprinkling (optional)
Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Pour squash and onions over the cookie sheet.
Step 2: Drizzle with olive oil. Mix with thongs and flatten to make one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Bake for 40 minutes.
Step 4: While squash and onions are baking, boil water for your pasta. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
Step 5: Before draining pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
Step 6: Drain pasta.
Step 7: Take out squash and onion from the oven, set aside.

Step 8: In a large bowl, break the goat cheese into small chunks.

Step 9:  Pour pasta and 1 cup of pasta water into the large bowl with goat cheese. Using thongs, toss the pasta until the cheese and water becomes a creamy sauce.

Step 10: Add basil, pecans, butternut squash and onions. Toss until well combined

Step 11: Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional). Eat and Enjoy!

I have had a lot of firsts today! I have never had goat cheese, butternut squash or eaten nuts with my pasta, but OH MY GOSH! It was so amazing that I stuffed myself to the point of sickness, and if I do get sick it was soooo worth it.


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