Friday, November 2, 2012

Pappardelle with Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese

by Sheila Connolly

This is a good fall-into-winter recipe. In case you haven't noticed, butternut squash is plentiful now, and it's a good keeper.  Plus this dish provides an interesting mix of contrasting flavors.

You can make your own pappardelle (you don't even need a pasta machine—just roll it out).  But you can buy the noodles and they'll work just as well.

If you're a purist, you can buy a whole squash and cube it, but it can be kind of tough (harder than even a pumpkin). Most markets these days sell it already cubed, which makes things easy for you.


1 large butternut squash, or 6 cups cubed

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 Tblsp vegetable oil

1 Tblsp butter

½ cup water

3 Tblsp sherry (optional)


1 pound pappardelle, or other large hearty pasta (this is not the time for elbow macaroni!)

5 oz soft blue cheese (you can buy crumbles)


Peel, halve and seed the squash and cut into roughly one-inch cubes (or buy it cubed).

 In a large heavy saucepan (big enough to add the pasta to it later), sauté the onion in the oil until it's soft.  Stir in the butter and the squash.  Add the water (and the sherry if you're using it).  Cover and reduce the heat.  Simmer for about fifteen minutes, or until the squash is tender but still holds its shape (you don't want mush).

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, and add a big pinch of salt.  Cook your pappardelle or other pasta according to the package instructions.

This is one pound of pappardelle

Season the squash-onion mixture with salt (the blue cheese will add more salt later) and pepper and remove the pan from the heat.

Drain the pasta.  Add it to the squash mixture and mix gently.  Stir in the blue cheese, which will melt to form a sauce.


Transfer to a large serving bowl.  You may mix in chopped fresh sage in you like. 

Makes six generous servings.




  1. Lovely recipe, Sheila. But I want to know where you shop! I've never seen cubed squash -- except maybe frozen. I sort of ignore frozen squash in general, but perhaps I shouldn't!

    ~ Krista

  2. I know Whole Foods has pre-cut butternut. (And it rhymes)
    This looks delicious. I did something like this last night with broccoli, carrots, onion, bits of seasoned left-over chicken, pasta, and soft goat cheese for the sauce (with some cooking water from the pasta to thin it out)
    Great minds...

  3. Krista, my grocery store likes to chop lots of things--mushrooms, carrots, broccoli. I always think they look a little dry, but when faced with a squash (that it takes an ax to penetrate), it's an easy solution.

    Libby--aren't cheese crumbles great? Instant sauce. And so many pasta dishes are flexible--just throw in what you feel like or what you have leftover. It's hard to go wrong.

  4. I'm ashamed to admit I've never cooked pappardelle ... but they look so voluptuous in the bowl. And I do love butternut squash with pasta (a friend introduced me to butternut squash lasagna ...). Thanks for this, Sheila!

  5. Sheila, oddly enough, I'm making butternut squash for the first time tonight. I found a recipe in Culture Cheese Magazine. Now, I can't wait to make your recipe, as well. Think I'll use gluten-free lasagna noodles for the pappardelle. Great.

    ~Daryl aka Avery