This colourful pasta with butternut squash, cherry tomatoes and arugula (rocket leaves) is a quick and easy dish, perfect as a healthy vegetarian weeknight meal idea.
This vegetarian pasta with butternut squash is a good example of why home cooking using fresh (and seasonal) ingredients makes sense. This simple dish requires minimum effort, very few ingredients yet is bursting with flavour!
How to prep the butternut squash
Butternut squash does not need a special recommendation – it is the quintessential autumn vegetable, delicious on its own or with other ingredients. It can be prepared in a number of ways, but roasting it is by far my favourite method.
Roasted squash is sweet, with a hint of caramel, and it doesn’t really need much more than a bit of seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil. Which is how I’ve prepared it in this easy pasta recipe. Roasting it alongside cherry tomatoes produces a delicious sauce which can be added to the pasta.
How to peel the butternut squash
For me the easiest way of doing this is by first cutting both ends off (in this case only one, as your squash is already halved). Then place your squash on one end and using a sharp knife slice the peel off downwards all the way around. Then cube the squash and remove the seeds.
How to roast the vegetables
What I love about this easy vegetarian pasta recipe is that you can roast the squash alongside the cherry tomatoes and garlic. Which makes this recipe practically a one pot dish.
Simply throw the vegetables onto a large roasting sheet, season and drizzle with a little oil and roast for approx. 35 minutes, or until the squash is fully cooked. In the meantime you can boil the pasta and prepare the arugula (by combining it with a little oil).
Assembling pasta with butternut squash
This bit is also super easy to do. Once you’ve cooked the pasta, combine it with the arugula and a bit of oil. (Start cooking the pasta half way through roasting the vegetables). Remove the vegetables from the oven, chop up the garlic, then put it back into the roasting tray. Pour the entire content of the roasting tray (veggies plus the juices) over the pasta, stir and serve!
What pasta to use
I used farfalle pasta in this butternut squash pasta recipe because it’s so pretty. Though fusilli or penne are also good choices. As this is a pasta dish a sprinkle of parmesan for serving is an option, but is not essential. I enjoyed mine vegan:)
Other ways of using arugula (rocket leaves)
Arugula is so much more than just a salad ingredient! You can add it to soups (see my Vegan Split Pea Soup with Arugula), stews, pizzas and many other dishes. It can also be stirred into pasta, along with a bit of good olive oil, as I have done in this recipe. It is a pesto of sorts, only simplified and super quick to make. But it adds so much flavour to the dish. Its nutty and slightly peppery flavour works really well in this sweet and sour tasting dish!
I’ve used a similar method in this Pumpkin Garlic Pasta with Arugula recipe.
More butternut squash recipes
If you are looking for more easy butternut squash recipes check out this Mediterranean Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe (Vegan). It’s a fuss free one pot dish equally delicious as a healthy family dinner or party food idea. Another easy meal idea you might like is this Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili recipe.
Check out also this collection of over 12 healthy vegetarian pasta meals.
Pasta with Butternut Squash, Tomatoes & Arugula
- About 250 g your favourite pasta
- 1/2 butternut squash peeled, cubed
- 360 g cherry tomatoes scored
- 50 g rocket leaves finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves peeled, whole
- 3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf for cooking the pasta
- Parmesan for serving optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/gas mark 6.
- Place the squash, tomatoes and garlic in a baking tray, season, drizzle with oil and roast for about 35- 40 minutes. Once the vegetables are out of the oven slice or chop the garlic and then put it back in the tray mixing with the vegetables.
- While the vegetables are in the oven cook the pasta (al dente) in salted water (with the bay leaf). Strain and set aside.
- Combine the arugula with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add to the pasta. Season and stir well.
- Serve the roasted vegetables on a bed of pasta (with or without the parmesan) with a little drizzle of olive oil.