Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Delicata Squash.
New favorite meal alert!
But guyyyys. I don’t know which part I love more. The pumpkin seed pesto?! Or the caramelized delicata squash? Don’t make me chooooose.
This is why we are throwing it all in one dish. Eat up! Enjoy! It’s a warm bowl of fun. It tastes like fall. And it’s not orange!
I’m freaking over pepitas at the moment. I can’t help but grab a handful anytime I’m in the kitchen – they are buttery and crunchy and I even splurged and bought some roasted and salted ones just to snack on. Fantastic.
For the pesto, I used unsalted raw pepitas and did a quick little toast myself. In an incredibly predictable move, I used arugula as my greens in the pesto (do I even KNOW how to use another green in pesto? the answer is no.) for the perfect bite. Buttery and peppery and so perfect for the season.
Also, look at that color! I love it more than basil pesto. I want to do a dive into that swirl.
Let’s talk about pasta. If you’re a longtime reader then you know that it’s never been my favorite thing, but that mostly has to do with my non-love for tomato sauce. I enjoy pasta in other ways but I’ve pretty much only ever used whole wheat pasta. Always! I love the chew and now that I can find it in every fun shape, I have no need for any other kind.
The only variety I CAN’T find it in is bucatini. The fat noodles are my favorite noodles ever. I like to photograph them and I like to eat them even more. Is there some sort of crazy flour to shape ratio that doesn’t allow bucatini to come in a whole wheat version? I even googled without success so my invisible internet friends must know the reason.
Hello to hot hot hot pasta tossed into pesto. Is there anything more gorgeous than this green melting into steamy noodles? NOPE.
Also, delicata squash may be my 2016 preference over butternut. Heyyyy. It’s rich and creamy and tastes exactly like fall to me. I can’t always find it, but when I do, it gets pan-caramelized or roasted. In this case, a little butter, little smoked paprika, little chili powder… you might just want to eat that itself.
This is super satisfying and comforting and maybe even healthy if you don’t have a bowl the size of your head. But, I mean, why don’t you want a bowl the size of your head?
Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Delicata Squash
- 2/3 cup pepitas
- 3 cups arugula greens
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 pound bucatini pasta, cooked
caramelized delicata squash
- 1 small delicata squash, sliced and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and toast until slightly golden and fragrant, stirring often and shaking the pan so they don't burn. Once toasted, place them in a food processor. Add the arugula, parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Pulse until combined and blender. With the processor on, stream in the olive oil, starting with 1/4 cup first. The mixture will be thick, but you want it to be able to coat the hot pasta. You can add more olive if you'd like it thinner or if it is too chunky. I love to blend in a few tablespoons of cold water - I find that it help brings the pesto together.
Cook the bucatini according to the directions. Toss with the pesto while it's still hot and add the delicata squash pieces. Sprinkle with extra parmesan and serve!
caramelized delicata squash
To make the squash, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, smoked paprika, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the squash to the skillet and toss in the oil and butter. Sprinkle with the seasoning and cook on both sides until golden and caramely. Toss into the pasta while still warm.