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Course: Main Course

Penne w/Butternut Squash & Sage Pesto shared by




  • 3 quarts water
  • 5 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces brown rice penne
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch thick sticks
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sage Pesto (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds toasted (optional)
  • SAGE PESTO: makes about 1cup
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh sage leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 ounces parm cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for storing



In a 4- to 6-quart stockpot over high heat, combine the water with about 1 1/2 tablespoons salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the penne, and cook according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Stir in the shallots, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash and shallots are tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When the pasta is done, drain it, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the pesto and squash mixture. If it seems too dry, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the pasta to plates or a platter, and if desired, garnish with almonds. Serve immediately.

In a food processor, combine the almonds and garlic and pulse to roughly chop. Add the sage and parsley and pulse to chop. Add the cream cheese, salt, and pepper and process into a paste. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil, processing until the oil is fully combined. Use immediately or transfer to a small container, cover with a thin layer of olive oil, and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks.



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