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Braised Cauliflower, Butternut Squash and Parmesan Pasta

Alternate title – “The Easiest Pasta Dish I’ve Ever Made”. Honestly – I thought I was reading the recipe wrong and it wasn’t until I ate a big bowl of this that I felt certain it would all turn out in the wash.

My friend Bekka is who I talk to when I want to know what’s trending on the internet. Recently she sent me a link to a Martha Stewart recipe she said was exploding in blog-world. Basically you put the pasta into the boiling water along with the tomatoes, basil, cheese, etc, and fifteen minutes later you have beautiful caprese pasta with so much less hassle it’s just silly.

Not sure if Eating Well magazine had the idea first or came up with this after reading Martha’s, but nonetheless I was excited when I realized the method was the same. Usually when I make veggie pasta I roast the veggies separately and then add them to the cooked noodles with a bunch of other sauce producing ingredients. This time the clean up was a joke – truly just one pot.

By using two slow-to-cook vegetables the timing is impeccable – each food finishes together. The chicken broth flavors it all so well that the cheese is the only complement needed. The perfect weeknight dinner – you are 30 minutes and 1 pot away from a warm, healthy fall dinner.

Braised Cauliflower, Butternut Squash and Parmesan Pasta

Serves 2-4

Slightly adapted from Eating Well Magazine

1 tbsp. olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

4 c. chicken broth

3 c. whole wheat rotini or penne

2 1/2 c. 1 in. cauliflower florets

2 1/2 c. 1 in. peeled, cubed, butternut squash

1/3 c. parmesan or romano cheese

1. Heat oil in a large pot, saucepan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, thyme, crushed red pepper and salt. Stir and cook, about 30 seconds (don’t let garlic turn brown).

2. Add chicken broth, pasta, cauliflower and squash. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to boil.

3. Reduce to a vigorous simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes. Pasta and veggies should be tender and liquid should be greatly reduced.


4. Add cheese and stir to combine. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.