A favorite of “pastatarians” everywhere, this comforting pasta dish combines the earthy sweetness of roasted butternut squash with fragrant sage and a medley of aromatic herbs and spices. Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy depth. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or explore the versatile variations, this dish is a delicious and satisfying choice for any occasion.
10 ounces frozen, cubed butternut squash
⅔ cup no-salt-added vegetable stock or water, divided
2 teaspoons Salt-Free Seasoning, divided (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
8 ounces whole-grain penne rigate
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Italian spice blend
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons chiffonade-cut fresh sage or basil
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or marjoram
½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1½ tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the butternut squash, ⅓ cup vegetable stock, ¼ teaspoon Salt-Free Seasoning, if using, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper on a nonstick baking sheet and toss well. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until squash is cooked through. Add small amounts of vegetable stock if necessary to prevent sticking to the pan.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water, optionally with 1 teaspoon of Salt-Free Seasoning, to a boil. Add the penne and cook until just tender, approximately 6 – 8 minutes. Remove and drain well.
- While the pasta is cooking, place a small pot over low heat and add the remaining ⅓ cup vegetable stock, the garlic, Italian spice mix, remaining ¾ teaspoon of Salt-Free Seasoning (if using), remaining ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the nutritional yeast and sage/basil and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally and adding small amounts of vegetable stock if necessary to prevent sticking. Add the oregano and rosemary, and mix well.
- Place the roasted squash, the cooked penne, and the seasoned stock in a large bowl and gently toss well. Garnish with parsley before serving.
Vary the recipe as desired. Try replacing the penne with your favorite whole-grain pasta, such as angel hair, rotini, or fettuccine, or experiment with gluten-free pastas. The butternut squash can be replaced with another squash variety, such as acorn, kabocha, or butternut, or you can try replacing it with roasted sweet potatoes or root vegetables.
Chef Mark Reinfeld, a pioneer in the plant-based culinary world with over two decades of experience, is the driving force behind the Vegan Fusion Institute. An accomplished chef, educator, and advocate, he’s penned eight acclaimed books, including Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, celebrated as the Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA, with a foreword by Dr. Jane Goodall,. Mark’s culinary journey began with The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant, honored as Best Restaurant on Kaua’i.
Chef Mark offers virtual and in-person culinary trainings internationally, including his signature 4-Week Vegan Cooking Immersion. He also currently serves as Executive Chef for the North American Vegetarian Society’s Summerfest. As a trailblazer, he’s been inducted into the Vegan Hall of Fame and earned the prestigious Platinum Carrot Award. His consulting services benefit major names like Google, Whole Foods, and The Humane Society, promoting the art of plant-based cuisine for health, the environment, and a more peaceful world. Learn more at www.chefmarkreinfeld.com