Ready in 30 minutes — a delicious vegetarian pasta dish with roasted delicata squash, caramelized onion and chili in a creamy Parmesan sauce with wilted greens.
If you’re ready to take your everyday pasta up a notch, here’s a quick vegetarian recipe to help.
This is a favorite delicata squash recipe, featuring sweet roasted squash, a chili-infused Parmesan cream sauce and wilted greens.
It’s a delicious, healthy pasta recipe to add to your cooking rotation.
What is Delicata squash?
Delicata squash— pronounced DELI-KAH-TA — is a type of winter squash.
They have a beautiful green-striped orange skin and a sweet, mild flavor.
Delicatas are less stringy than other kinds of hard-skinned squash, and they’re perfect to mix into roasted vegetable salads and pasta dishes,
You can find delicatas during the months of the fall and early winter. Scoop them up when you see them!
Is the skin of Delicata squash edible?
The striated green and sunset-yellow skin is tender when cooked and totally edible.
There’s no need to peel it — you can just scrape the skin randomly with a vegetable peeler to remove any blemished spots.
The delicata’s flesh roasts up tender and the flavor is nutty and lightly sweet, less so than your average yam or sweet potato.
How to prepare delicata squash for cooking and roasting
Of all the winter squash, these pretty squashes seem to have the most delicate skin.
But the good news is that delicata squash doesn’t have to be peeled. The skin is completely edible and not tough at all.
Another good thing is that you don’t have to wrestle with a cleaver in order to cut it into pieces, like some of my other favorite squashes (I’m looking at you, kabocha!).
After slicing in half, just scoop out the seeds with a spoon then slice the squash into chunky pieces.
You’ll love that this pasta is a wholesome, one-dish dinner, especially if you’re vegetarian or craving a meatless meal.
You can satisfy your pasta craving (A daily one for me) along with a healthy serving of vegetables.
I used baby spinach for the dish in the photos, but I’ve made it with torn-up kale and chard and it’s just as delicious.
Rigatoni pasta has a nice rugged, blocky shape, which blends perfectly with the pieces of roasted chunky squash and catches the bits of creamy sauce, wilted greens and caramelized onion.
You could use cute mezze rigatoni pasta in this recipe if you happen to see them in your grocery store (they’re literally regular rigatoni cut in half), as well as penne or shells.
More Winter Squash Recipes:
- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta in Garlic Parmesan Sauce
- Butternut Squash Soup with Orange and Ginger (Dairy-free)
- Harvest Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Chimichurri
Roasted Delicata Squash Pasta with Greens
- 1 small delicata squash about 10-12 ounces
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 shallots or 1 small red onion, peeled, halved and sliced lengthwise
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 dried chile de arbol, crumbled, or 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ pound (225 g) rigatoni or mezze rigatoni
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- ¼ cup (25 g) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 2 good handfuls washed baby greens, such as spinach, kale or arugula
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Trim the stem and root end off the squash and slice it in half lengthwise. Slice each half in half again. Scrape a spoon along down the length of the pieces to remove the seeds and cut into ½-inch wide chunks. Put the squash in a large mixing bowl.
- Add olive oil, salt, shallots, garlic and chili to the squash and toss together. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and roast 20-25 minutes. The squash should be tender and nicely brown. Drizzle the balsamic over the squash as soon as it comes out of the oven and stir around gently with a spatula.
- While the squash is roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni until al dente. Before draining the pasta, add the greens to the colander. The brief contact with the boiling pasta water will wilt the greens.
- Transfer the pasta and greens back to the cooking pot and stir in the cream and Parmesan.
- Add the squash to the pasta and toss together. Serve hot with additional cheese and chili to your taste.