Whole Grain Pasta w/ Squash, Fontina & Parmesan

Serves 4


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled & cut into ½" dice
  • 1 cup red onion, cut into ¹⁄₈” dice
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed & peeled
  • kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage leaves
  • 4 cups mixed spinach & pea tendrils
  • large pot of salted water for pasta
  • 1 lb whole grain penne pasta
  • ½ lb red bliss potatoes, sliced
  • touch of grated nutmeg
  • 6 oz grated Parmesan cheese (divided as 4 oz & 2 oz)
  • 4 oz diced fontina cheese
  • 1 cup toasted breadcrumbs
  • ground black pepper to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a large oven-proof sauté pan over medium-high heat
  2. Add the squash, onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, cover with a round of parchment paper (or a lid), and cook 7 minutes or until the vegetables are golden brown and tender
  3. Add the sage, spinach and pea tendrils and cook an additional minute.  Remove the pan from the heat
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  5. Add the pasta and potatoes and cook 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the pasta is al dente
  6. Ladle 3 cups of pasta water into a container and reserve
  7. Strain the pasta mixture through a colander and add to the pan with the squash
  8. Add the fontina cheese, ⅔ of the Parmesan and a few gratings of nutmeg and toss well over medium heat
  9. Add the pasta water and continue to toss until the cheeses are melted and a creamy sauce results
  10. Preheat the broiler and situate an oven rack on the top slot
  11. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and the breadcrumbs cook under the broiler 5 minutes or until the top is toasty brown