Sometimes it's difficult to use up a whole butternut squash and not get sick of it. Unless I'm making soup, I generally buy them smaller in size, and use it in a few different recipes as an accent (i.e. the Fall Moroccan Tagine that I recently posted) rather than the feature of a dish. I actually used the other half of the butternut squash I had from making that dish (it keeps well in the fridge) to come up with this quick pasta using just a few ingredients that I had on hand - green swiss chard, a can of cannellini beans, and some orecchiette pasta. It was a great weeknight meal not only because it's well balanced - getting your vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates in one bowl - but also because it's relatively quick, and the flavors all went together even better than I expected. When the butternut squash is roasted and paired with the earthy beans and chard, it takes on more of a savory quality in this dish than sweet, and I think you'll like it! This makes enough for 2, but can easily be doubled for more people.
Butternut Squash, Chard, and White Bean Orecchiette
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small or about 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 bunch green, swiss, or rainbow chard, leaves removed and chopped
6 oz. orecchiette or other small pasta (shells would also work)
1 15 oz. can cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the squash in a little olive oil, season with a pinch of salt, and lay out on a sheet pan. Roast for about 30 minutes (mine went a little longer and was slightly browned on the bottom but still tasted great).
Meanwhile, heat a pot of water and cook the pasta until al dente, reserving 1/4 c. of the cooking water before draining. Additionally, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the chard, cover, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice, until wilted. Remove the lid, add the beans, and simmer over low heat until the pasta is done.
Combine the pasta, squash, greens/bean mixture, and cooking water along with 1 t. kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Stir for 1-2 minutes until everything combines and a light sauce forms. Divide into pasta bowls and serve.