Roasted Squash Spelt Penne

We ate a LOT of past in Italy. Or rather I should say, I ate a lot of pasta in Italy. Growing up I was called the pasta queen in my household, due to (not surprisingly) my insatiable appetite for the stuff. To this day I'm not sure what it is that makes me love pasta so much, but I do, in any shape or form; simply doused with butter, mixed with marmite (!) or in more elegant forms (here and here). What I am sure about is that I am always looking for new recipes for pasta.

Last night I was rooting around in the fridge looking for something easy to make for a midweek meal and found some left over roasted squash from my recipe experiments for my next Rock my Wedding guest post. I'd also just bought some whole wheat penne which I've been looking to try a recipe out with so thought I'd throw the two together and see where we got to. The result was pretty delicious*. The spelt pasta is pretty robust with a really nutty flavour which went perfectly with the creamy slightly sweet squash. All it needed was some extra roasted onions, a dash of marscapone/crème fraîche and some parmesan and we had a near on perfect supper.

Roasted Squash Spelt Penne

Serves 2


Roughly 200g squash, peeled and cubed (or already roasted)
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
few sprigs of thyme and rosemary

140g whole wheat spelt penne pasta
2 tbsp crème fraîche
2 tbsp marscapone
a few leaves of fresh basil


Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C. On a baking tray toss the squash, onion, rosemary and thyme with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for around 20 minutes until the squash is tender and just crispy around the edges. If you've already got some pre-cooked squash just roast the onions and herbs for around 15 minutes.

Whilst the squash and onions are cooking, cook the pasta for around 2 minutes less than the packet instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water. In the same saucepan you cooked the pasta in gently warm the marscapone and crème fraîche with about half a cup of pasta water. Add the squash and onion and mix together carefully, the sauce will turn a beautiful pale orange colour. Add the pasta to the sauce to heat through, if it seems too thick add more of the cooking water, it should be silky, creamy and just cling to the pasta. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve in warm bowls with plenty of freshly grated parmesan and some torn basil.

*despite what the terrible photo might suggest!


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