Cooking Challenge Day 1: Butternut Squash Pasta.

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t really know my way around a kitchen. Every time I decide that I’m going to finally do it, something comes up and I stop. Or I get intimidated. Enough enough enough. No more kitchen-hogging roommates, long vacations, or laziness getting in the way. Onward we tread into the unknown. Let’s go on this journey together. I may migrate into videos in the future, but right now I’m not quite confident enough in my kitchen presence. Maybe someday.

So for my maiden voyage, I wanted to use the absolute most simple recipe possible that I would probably like. Potential issues: I’m vegetarian and a picky eater. This puts quite a damper on potential recipes.

Luckily I found this delicious 5 ingredient pasta dish. Here is the original, but below are my personal edits.


  • 1 pack of pre-cut butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or any high-heat oil)
  • 6 ounces whole wheat dried pasta
  • 2 ounces cheese blend
  • 1 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • (I removed the pine nuts because the small pack was like $7 at Jewel Osco and.. na)


    Heat oven to 425°F.  Mist cooking spray onto baking sheet.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the butternut squash and oil, and toss until the squash is evenly coated.  Spread the squash out the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the squash at the halfway point then returning them to the oven, until the squash are cooked through and soft on the inside.  Remove and set aside.

    While the squash is cooking, bring a sauce pan of generously-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.  Once it reaches ideal softness, scoop out about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and set it aside for later.  Then drain the rest of the water and return the pasta to the sauce pan.  Immediately add in the cheese along with the reserved pasta water, and toss until the cheese is completely melted and is evenly coating the pasta.  (If it seems too thick and you’d like a lighter “sauce”, add in a few more tablespoons of the pasta water at a time until the cheese reaches your desired consistency.)  Add in the spinach and roasted butternut squash, and toss until combined.

    Serve immediately, garnished with extra black pepper if desired.

    This. Was. So. Effing. Delicious. And luckily, since I cooked it with the original recipe, I have enough for like 2-3 more meals of this. If you follow my edits, you’ll have a normal quantity that is much more ideal for a single person.

    You absolutely must try this 😍


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