So I was on the phone with my sister last week talking about trying to eat healthy blah blah blah, and all sad that I havent had any really good pasta in a while when she said to me- Pasta doesn’t make you fat, its what goes into it that does. GENIUS. I instantly remembered that I heard that somewhere else and so I decided that I needed pasta that very minute. Obviously my go to, be all, end all, favorite pasta is Fettuccine Alfredo; those long al dente pasta strands doused in a heavy cream sauce with a pound of parmesan ((OMG)). But in this case I knew I couldn’t justify it. I could however 100% justify a pasta with healthy fats and a ton of roasted veggies!
And so into the kitchen I went on my pasta mission.
I have this recipe that I made for friends a few months ago and it was a huge crowd pleaser. It also looks super pretty with the combination of colors- the purple from the red onion- (why is it called red if its purple..?), the burnt crispy edges off the glow of the orangey butternut squash, and the leafy green brightness from the arugula. A (healthier) feast for the stomach and eyes!
This recipe is also really easy and can be used with any type of pasta you have on hand. You throw all the dressing ingredients into a blender or teeny tiny food processor like this one, roast your veggies, boil the pasta and combine. You can make the dressing, or even all the components of this recipe separately a day ahead and then add them together a few hours before serving. It works well hot or at room temperature.
To kick up the protein I like to add some grilled chicken , so you really have an all in one meal.
And if you really really want to go crazy and have some pineapple on hand, grill that too and add it in! The smokey sweetness of the pineapple adds the yummiest burst of flavor. Disclaimer- I can’t take credit for the pineapple idea- my husband suggested it and I sneered, then tried it, and it was glorious. Don’t worry I apologized.
- For the dressing:
- 1 bunch of parsley washed, stems removed
- 1 handful of baby arugula washed
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, I like Grey Poupon
- pinch of salt
- For the pasta salad:
- 1 lb box linguini or other pasta of choice
- 1 large red onion peeled, halved, sliced into chunks
- 1 12 oz. package cut up butternut squash (I buy from trader joes)
- 1 10 oz. package sliced white mushrooms
- Another handful arugula
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Optional Add ins:
- grilled chicken
- grilled pineapple
- sun dried tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- On a sheet pan place and spread out the onions, mushrooms, and butternut squash
- Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt
- Roast for 12-15 mins, or until the squash has crispy blackened edges
- Prepare the dressing
- In a blender or small food processor, combine all dressing ingredients and blend until combined. Taste and season with more salt if needed
- Cook pasta according to package directions
- In a large bowl combine the cooked pasta with the roasted veggies and pour the dressing on top. Add in another handful arugula and mix to combine.
- Add in any optional ingredients.