butternut squash and tomato penne

Butternut Squash and Tomato Penne Recipe

I had butternut squash left in the fridge after making those yummy fall vegetables a couple of days ago so I thought I would share with you one of my favorite pasta recipes.

It’s sweet, salty and savory all at once and it’s both wintery and summery too! Soft butternut squash gives a creamy element to the dish so no sauce is needed here. A good lug of extra virgin olive oil and a little butter does the trick.

My husband isn’t too crazy about butternut squash (he finds it too sweet) but LOVES it in this dish. All the flavors round up so well together to create a truly satisfying meal. Sprinkle a little parsley on top and look at how pretty this butternut squash and tomato penne is!

Extra point for esthetics!


Six anchovy fillets are used in this butternut squash penne so be ready for a little pungency… Good pungency that is!

You can certainly try to make it without using any if you really cannot stand the taste of anchovies, but I find them necessary in order to achieve that perfect balance of sweet, savory and salty.

The pumpkin seeds are there to add texture and nuttiness to the pasta.


You can eat it hot or cold, as a salad, snack or main, once this butternut squash penne is ready, it doesn’t need any additional adjustments.

I sometimes add parmesan but there’s already so much going on in this dish that it can easily do without. It’s perfect just like that! Pair this dish with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc (one of my favorites is Oyster Bay – affordable, dry, zesty and crisp) and a beautiful brussels sprouts salad with kale and asparagus for a complete dinner feast!

Other dishes to pair this butternut squash and tomato penne recipe: white bean and swiss chard soup, marinated zucchini, sauteed radishes.

onions-frying penne-cooking


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Butternut Squash and Tomato Penne

A sweet and savory penne made with anchovies, butternut squash, grape tomatoes and pumpkin seeds.

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x
  • Category: Noodles
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 pound butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes, about 2 heaping cups)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets (in oil) (patted dry and finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 medium red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 20 grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. In a large deep frying pan over medium high heat, add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, anchovies, garlic and onions. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and add butternut squash. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the squash is soft and starts to brown.
  3. Add butter, sunflower seeds and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package (al dente), drain and add to the pan.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, mix well and serve topped with fresh parsley.


Store this butternut squash and tomato penne in the fridge in a container. It will keep for 4-5 days.

Keywords: recipe, pasta, main

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