Butternut Squash with Penne Pasta & Brown Butter

No time to make pumpkin raviolis? Who does when you’re juggling family life. That’s why I heart this recipe. Not only is it perfect for a cold evening– it has all the decadence of fall flavors without all the work!!


1 ( 2- 2 1/2 lb) long neck butternut squash

8 ounces of butter, softened 

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

1 bunch fresh sage leaves, washed de stemmed 

4 large fresh sage leaves chopped fine

2 Tablespoons of good quality olive oil

1 large yellow onion, finely diced

2 large garlic cloves, peeled & finely diced

1 pound penne pasta

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated 

(plus additional for serving)


1-Preheat oven to 400’F

2-Carefully cut butternut squash lengthwise, remove seeds. Place squash-halves on a large baking sheet lined with foil- flesh side up. Dot 1/2 the butter all around the top of the squash halves. Season generously with salt & pepper.

3- Roast 50 to 60 minutes, until flesh is fork-tender. And edges are brown and caramelized. Remove and set aside.

3-While the butternut squash is in the oven, cook pasta to manufactures directions. Drain & toss in a 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, set aside. ( see my post here how to manage a weeks worth of pasta cooking once ) 

4- Pat sage leaves dry.  Heat oil in a small 8-9 in. Sauté pan until oil shimmers. Test frying temperature by dropping in a dry sage leaf . If it bubbles briskly it is ready. 

5-Drop the dry leaves into the hot oil and stir with slotted spoon. They will cook fast so don’t walk away. It will be mound and oil will crackle – be careful not to get splattered. Fry leaves about 10-20 seconds and drain on paper towel. Set aside. (Save flavored oil for additional uses.)

6- In a very large sauté pan, combine the remaining olive oil with the remainder of the butter. Add onions & sauté on medium high heat until the onions are translucent and butter is slightly brown, about 3-4 minutes. 

7-Add garlic cloves, sauté an additional minute or two until foamy. Remove from heat. Add finely chopped sage. Swirl.

 8-Spoon large spoonfuls of roasted butternut squash into pan, toss to coat.

9-Add pasta, again toss to coat, gently keeping the size integrity of the squash in tack. 

10-Serve in individual bowls topped with Parmesan cheese and deep fried crunchy Sage leaves.


Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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