Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Pasta

I won’t lie to y’all. Sometimes my recipes don’t turn out right. Sometimes I have to re-make them 3 or 4 times before I get them perfect.

This was one of those recipes.

The first time I made it, it definitely wasn’t bad. Don’t get me wrong. More so I added the cheese and veggies and everything to the pasta all at once. By the time the goat cheese was all melted, everything had kind of become a pile of mush. The noodles were broken and the butternut squash had broken apart. So it was still tasty, but not like I had envisioned.

I wanted a creamy goat cheese sauce and big chunks of veggies and pecans throughout the pasta. So, I tried again.

And again.

And again.

FINALLY I figured out the secret was to mix the goat cheese AND reserved water in with the pasta together before adding anything else. It kept it smooth enough to melt the cheese and evenly coat the pasta. Then add everything else in.

So if you’re planning to just throw all of the ingredients to the pasta at the end… Well that’s fine. Your pasta will taste fine. But it might just resemble mush.

Ingredients
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
1 red onion, chopped to a similar size as the squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup pecans, chopped
16 ounces mezzi rigatoni
10 ounces goat cheese
1-1½ cups reserved pasta water
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, shredded

20-Cup Digital Multicooker with Steam
6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425℉.
2. Put the cut butternut squash onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4. Fill the inner pot of the multicooker ¾ of the way with water. Set the cooker to STEAM for 30 minutes. Close the lid and let come to a boil.
5. Once boiling, add the pasta. Let return to a boil while stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes with the lid open the whole time.
6. Once the pasta is done, reserve 1-1½ cup of the cooking water by carefully ladling out into a bowl. Set aside.
7. Turn off the cooker and carefully remove the inner pot with oven mitts; drain the rest of the water, keeping the pasta in the inner pot.
8. Return the inner pot to the cooker and set for Keep Warm.
9. Add in the goat cheese and about 1 cup of the pasta water back to the pasta in the inner pot. Stir until the cheese is fully melted and the pasta is coated. If needed, add the remaining half-cup of pasta water to thin the sauce.
10. Stir in the roasted butternut squash, onions, pecans, sage, cinnamon, parmesan, and pepper to taste.
11. Stir until the cheese is completely melted and everything is combined.

Recipe inspiration from Joyful Healthy Eats

 

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