- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound quinoa penne or whole wheat penne
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
- Nutmeg, for grating
- 1 cup packed mixed herbs, such as cilantro, basil and flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
- 1/3 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 2 jalapeño or serrano chili peppers, seeded
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or pasted
- Juice of 1 lime
Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.
While the pasta is working, on a baking sheet, drizzle the squash with EVOO and season with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Roast until tender and charred at the edges, about 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a food processor, pulse 1/3 cup EVOO, the herbs, cheese, pepitas, chili peppers, garlic and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the pesto, reserved starchy cooking water and the squash to the drained pasta. Toss gently and serve.