Delicata squash is my favorite of the winter squashes. Because the skin is soft and thin, you don’t need to peel it. It’s lovely sliced into half moons and roasted. For this recipe it is first tossed with the warming spices of ground cumin and red pepper flakes, then roasted until brown on the edges and soft, tossed with pasta and finished with a dusting of grated Parmesan and a few handfuls of arugula.
Here’s the beauty of this recipe…
- Use any kind of winter squash you happen to have on hand. For butternut, peel it and cut into 1 inch chunks.
- No arugula? Use baby spinach instead.
- I used gluten free chickpea pasta, but any kind of of dried pasta will work.
- Turn it into a baked dish by finishing with grated mozzarella and cooking for 15 minutes in the oven.
- Want to some extra protein? Add some quickly sautéed chicken (or tofu) cut into 1 inch pieces at the end or roast it with the squash.
- Looking for more options…what about adding a drained can of chickpeas to roast with the squash? A sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds or a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil would be nice as well.
I found this pasta at our local market and was intrigued. It was delicious and I recommend it if you are looking for a gluten free option. It would be fun to serve with some chickpeas in the sauce as suggested above.
Spicy Delicata Squash Pasta with Arugula (serves 3 -4)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 delicata squash or equivalent in other varieties, about 6 cups. Seeds removed and sliced into 1/2 inch half moons.
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- Dried pasta, I used the entire package of 8.8 oz. It gave a high ratio of ‘filling’ to pasta. You could easily go with a full 16 oz package if you want more servings. The 8.8 oz package gave us 2 very generous servings (with seconds and leftovers for lunch)
- 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan
- 3 packed cups of arugula
- 1 cup of grated mozzarella (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the olive oil, cumin, red pepper flakes and garlic in a large bowl. Add the squash and toss with your hands to coat. Sprinkle with the cornstarch and mix to coat the squash lightly. Make sure that the squash doesn’t have any white cornstarch. See Note below. Reserve the bowl.
- Place on the baking sheet, trying to separate them as much as possible and bake for 30 minutes or until browned and soft. About half way through, turn to brown the other side.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
- If the pasta is done before the squash, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the colander to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- Using the same large bowl from step 2, combine the pasta, squash, arugula and parmesan. Add the additional saved pasta cooking water if things seem dry. Toss and serve.
- Optional: Put the mix into a serving bowl, sprinkle the mozzarella on top and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes to melt the cheese. I recommend adding some of the pasta water in this case.
Note: The cornstarch will crisp the edges of the squash. I use the same technique with cubes of sweet potato. Try it.
I think the folks over at Fiesta Friday will like the seasonal dish. This week is Fiesta Friday #402 hosted by Angie. Come on over to sample delicious recipes, decorating and craft ideas.
This looks amazing! And I have 2 delicata squashes from my CSA that I will use for this!
I have a question- why do you coat the squash with corn starch?
I will add a note to the recipe. I notice that I also didn’t mention the pasta water.
The cornstarch helps crisp the edges, I also use the same technique when roasting cubes of sweet potato.
That looks amazing. I’ll have to try the tip with the coating the roasted squash.
It does crisp up the edges. I originally thought more cornstarch is better, but found that it isn’t really true. You don’t need very much.
Hi Liz, I love all winter squashes, especially Delicata. Luckily we have a self serve winter squash stand just down the road that had Delicata Saturday, so I’ll head over there and pick one up and give this a try.
Thanks for the chickpea pasta tip, I’ll have to look for it at the market as I have to watch my bad carb intake…
The pasta was quite good, a bit more chewy than regular but very tasty. More like a whole wheat variety. I hope you are able to find it.
I am with you on the winter squashes. I love them all, cooked in any fashion, but especially roasted.
Delicata really is wonderful. I was pretty late in the game to discover it. I tried to grow it, but to no avail, sadly. And I can’t find it where I live. But when I go to Whole Foods or Sprouts in the city, I’ll buy some. Fantastic recipe!
Thank you. I can’t grow it here either. I tried last year. The plants took up an entire raised bed and only produced one edible squash. Not worth the real estate.
I haven’t had delicata squash, but seeing that so many people mention how good they are I should really look for them. I haven’t seen them in the markets around here, may need to take a hike to the city. This sounds great, Liz!