1 large winter squash (such as butternut or acorn)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
3/4 cup orzo pasta
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground black pepper
Optional Ingredients: 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Rinse and cut squash in half. Remove seeds.
3. If using fresh rosemary, rinse and chop now.
4. Drizzle 1 teaspoon maple syrup over the cut side of each squash half. Sprinkle each with red pepper flakes and cayenne. If using rosemary, add now.
5. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place squash halves on the baking sheet. Roast until squash is tender and pierces easily with a fork, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven. Keep squash loosely covered with foil.
6. Cook pasta following package directions. Drain in a colander. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat well.
7. Cut each squash half into thirds. Remove skin from squash. Serve one piece of squash over each portion of pasta.
8. If using grated Parmesan cheese, sprinkle over squash and orzo now.
Orzo and squash reheat well without losing flavor or quality. Cook the entire meal the night before. Refrigerate until ready to serve the next day. For faster cooking, heat squash halves in the microwave. Heat for 7 minutes on high, or until squash is tender and pierces easily with a fork. For a quicker pasta dish, peel squash and chop into bite-size pieces. Using the same ingredients as in step 4, roast squash for 25 minutes. Toss with cooked whole wheat pasta, olive or canola oil, and grated Parmesan cheese.
More About Butternut Squash
How to Select
Choose a squash heavy for its size.
How to Store
Store in a cool, dark place for up to a month. Once cut, refrigerate unused portion.
How to Prepare
Add to stews and soups, steam and drizzle with olive oil, prepare in a curry, bake and stuff with apples, add cooked squash to a canned black beans with a dash of cinnamon and cumin, mash with yams, seasoned with ginger and cinnamon, or simply cube and roast.
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For best price, use whatever fruits are in season. Or, use thawed frozen fruit, but be sure to drain well before adding to bowls.