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Penne with Butternut Squash and Brown Butter Sauce


Covering the squash speeds up its cooking while still allowing for browning.

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (7 Votes)


  • 4 4
  • Ingredients
  • 1 1 1 pound penne, fusilli, or other short, tubular pasta
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1 1/2-inch pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
  • 2 2 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, torn
  • 3 3 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 4 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 1/4 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped coarse
  • 1 1 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 2 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)


Adapted from


Step 1

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot.

2. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add squash, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook until squash is softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Add sage and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; add squash mixture to pasta.

3. Add butter and hazelnuts to now-empty skillet and cook over medium-high heat until both are browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in lemon juice and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water (butter will foam and sizzle). Stir hazelnut mixture and 1/2 cup Parmesan into pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust consistency with remaining reserved cooking water as needed. Serve, sprinkled with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan.


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