Butternut Squash, Walnuts, and a New Business!

Things have been Crazy since August complete with a new business venture, school beginning again, more Philadelphia School District budget cuts, and lots of new Philly Foodventures to places new and old. I’ve been particularly bad about using our Greensgrow Farms CSA the last two shares. But I was determined to use as much from the one from this past Thursday as possible. I happened upon a fantastic little video for a simple recipe, and I made it my own! Here is what we got in our share:

PRODUCE: from the most to least perishable.
Asian Greens:  Glick Farm, Quarryville, PA
Tat Sai Greens*:  Queens Farm, West Chester, PA
Bell Peppers: Oxford Produce, Oxford, PA
Chiogga Beets: Marolda Farm, Vineland, NJ
Bosc Pears: Beechwood Orchard, Biglerville, PA
Macoun Apples*: Beechwood Orchard, Biglerville, PA
Butternut Squash*: Glick Farm, Quarryville, PA

1 dozen cage free eggs: Sandy Ridge Farm, Elizabethtown, PA

Handy gadgets for this recipe:

  • Again, the Kuhn Rikon Chop Chop – I used this for the walnuts. So much easier and faster to clean than a food processor.

I was so intent on EATING this particular day that I don’t have the pre-chopped food, but I sure do have all the ingredients. This recipe was SO easy and perfect for a Monday night.

Here is the video that I used as inspiration: Giada’s Penne with Butternut Squash

So here is the basic recipe from the video versus what I used, in true EmCa$h strikeout and bold fashion:


  • Goat Part Skim Ricotta Cheese (15 ounces)
  • Penne Pasta (1 box)
  • Salted pasta water
  • 2 Roasted Butternut Squashes
  • 2 Roasted Macoun Apples
  • 1 head of Mat Sai Greens, chopped
  • Fresh Dried Basil
  • Chopped Walnuts (about 1 cup)
  • Grated Parmesan Pecorino Romano Cheese (to taste)

I used ricotta instead of goat cheese because Andy isn’t crazy about it. Easy switch. I used the apples and mat sai greens because they came in the farmshare. I was so glad I roasted the apples with the squash (just a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, stirring once or twice). It gave the dish a really nice tang. I used dried basil instead of fresh because I can never get through an entire hydroponic basil plant before it wilts. I used Pecorino Roman cheese because I had it, and I like the tang of that too. It’s not really necessary to use two butternut squashes, but I did because I had them and I wanted more servings, less pasta per serving. It worked out well! And there was plenty of ricotta to cover everything.

The Process:

  1. Mix ricotta cheese and basil in a large mixing bowl.                                                                    wpid-wp-1413390239224.jpegwpid-wp-1413390234486.jpeg
  2. Ladle cooked pasta and about 1/2 c. of salted pasta water over cheese and basil mixture. Stir. wpid-wp-1413390252652.jpeg
  3. Add squashes, apples, greens, and walnuts. Stir.                                                                   wpid-wp-1413390263543.jpegwpid-wp-1413390257913.jpegwpid-wp-1413390246957.jpegwpid-wp-1413390228940.jpegwpid-wp-1413390223493.jpeg
  4. Top with pecorino romano cheese. wpid-wp-1413390216596.jpeg
  5. Enjoy!

I know, easy right? Roast your veggies however you want, and this is a really great base recipe.


Penne with Butternut Squash and Apples: 7 Points (This recipe makes 6 large servings.)

Ways to make this lighter and with fewer points:

  • Use fat free ricotta. This will reduce points from 7 points to 6 per serving.

On deck: A review of one of my new favorite regular haunts in Philly!


Have you tried this recipe or others I’ve posted? Tag me on Instagram @phillyfoodventures or Twitter @PHLFoodVentures or use the hashtag #phillyfoodventures with me! Thank you!




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