Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Butternut Squash Pasta Salad

The air is getting cooler, the jeans are getting tucked into knee-high boots, and everything pumpkin-flavored has resurfaced. That's right, it's Fall!

Today I want to share one of my favorite recipes that was actually created out of desperation. Ok, I'll admit, most of my recipes are created that way, but this one turned into an instant hit! I was asked to make a side dish for a cookout at my hubby's co-worker's place (last minute, of course) and I seriously had no idea what to make.
Being the "pastaholic" that I am, my brain instantly went to carbs. I wanted to incorporate the flavors of the approaching season as well, so this is what I came up with!

1 box of whole-wheat rotini pasta, cooked and cooled
1/2 butternut squash, cubed
1/2 stick of butter (optional)
2 tbsp brown sugar
sea salt
dried cranberries
1/2 red onion, chopped
olive oil
balsamic reduction
fresh mozzarella, sliced
fresh sage (optional)

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a small brownie pan or cookie sheet, lay out the butternut squash cubes. Add a small handful of brown sugar, butter, a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the squash and toss with your hands. Sprinkle salt on top, salt helps the roasting process. Let cook for about 25-30 minutes until tender.

When your squash is done, add it to the cold pasta (roasting oil and all) with chopped red onion, some dried cranberries and a sprinkle of fried sage if you have it on hand. Top with mozzarella and drizzle on some balsamic reduction right before serving.