Butternut Squash Pastasotto

Don't watch water boil--penne gets the risotto treatment in this dish. The pasta simmers and absorbs chicken broth until tender and is finished with roasted butternut squash, sage and Parmesan.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

10 whole fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Half a small onion, finely chopped

1 pound penne pasta

1 1/2 cups dry white wine

3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper on a baking sheet and bake, tossing halfway through, until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Add the whole sage leaves and fry until crispy, but still vibrant green, about 3 minutes. Use tongs to remove them to a paper towel-lined plate. 
  3. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring frequently to make sure the butter does not burn, until tender and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pasta and stir to coat in the butter and onions. Toast the pasta in the pan, stirring frequently, until golden brown in spots, about 4 minutes.  
  4. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup broth, and cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Repeat 2 more times until all the broth is absorbed and the pasta is cooked to al dente. Fold in the butternut squash, chopped sage, Parmesan, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper and stir until combined and creamy. Garnish with fried sage leaves and walnuts if using.