This Romanesco and Butternut Squash Pasta is the perfect holiday side dish to complete your family meal. This delicious pasta is simple to make and has amazing textures and flavors, with seasonal goods, fresh herbs, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping.
This blog post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market.
Do you usually have pasta at your Thanksgiving meal? We have always had one or two pastas at Thanksgiving, whether along with the appetizers or as a side dish for the main event. Either way, pasta is the total package when it comes to comfort food.
And with amazing vegetables additions, like this hearty romanesco, your dish will give the main course a run for its money!
First, can we talk about the colors? I love the combination of how pretty and “festive-looking” this pasta is, with the beautiful green of the romanesco along with the orange butternut squash. It just screams Fall, harvest, and all-things-Thanksgiving to me.
This dish has the perfect carby fix that you want for Thanksgiving, but you’re getting your veggies in too, all topped off with crunchy, buttery, herby breadcrumbs….what’s not to love about that?!
I was able to pick up everything I needed for this delectable Romanesco and Butternut Squash Pasta at Sprouts Farmers Market, and as per usual, I left a very happy camper! They have amazing produce options including the romanesco, butternut squash, and fresh herbs for this dish. It makes it so simple to get what I’m looking for when planning a holiday meal!
The star of the show
The star of the show is this beautiful romanesco, which reminds me of the most beautiful version of cauliflower with a green twist and a slightly nuttier flavor when pan fried or roasted. The romanesco went perfectly with sage (vegan) butter in this dish, along with the creamy and sweet roasted butternut squash.
To remove the florets, simply cut around the stem/base of the romanesco head carefully, in a circular fashion. Slowly cut away the florets and cut them into bite sized pieces. I left some in their shape and others I cut into “steaks” cross-wise, for a bit of variation.
The romanesco would be delicious roasted with some olive oil and simple seasonings, but here I chose to pan fry the romanesco with some olive oil and vegan butter while roasting the butternut squash. Either way will work for this pasta! You might want the extra oven space for other dishes during Thanksgiving, so the stovetop worked perfectly here.
How This Dish Comes Together
You’ll start by roasting the butternut squash. Here I used the pre-cut butternut squash from Sprouts, and let me just say, it makes life so much easier. You can always peel and cut it yourself, it will just take extra prep time.
While the butternut squash is roasting, you can cut the romanesco florets and cook them on the stovetop. Also boil the pasta at this time, and toast the breadcrumbs.
The various components will all become cooked in a similar timeframe, and then just serve and top with fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil if you like.
This dish didn’t last long around our house, and I hope you love it as much as we do!
Other Delicious Holiday Sides and Treats
Romanesco and Butternut Squash Pasta
- 1 lb. pasta of your choice
- 1 head romanesco
- 3 cups diced 1/2 cm cubes butternut squash
- Oil, salt and pepper for roasting
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil divided
- 3 tbsp. vegan butter divided
- 8 sage leaves
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/3 cup panko style breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and arrange the 3 cups finely diced butternut squash on the tray.
- Drizzle with enough oil to lightly coat the butternut squash, toss. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper to taste. Place into the oven for 15 minutes, toss, and cook until lightly golden and tender. Remove from oven.
- Cook the pasta in salted water until just al dente and drain, but reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, cut the florets from the romanesco stem and cut into small florets.
- In a large pan, add 1 tbsp. of the olive oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the romanesco and saute for a few minutes, then add the sage leaves and cook until the romanesco is starting to lightly brown and become tender. Transfer romanesco and sage to a plate.
- Add the remaining olive oil and 1 tbsp. vegan butter to the pan with the finely chopped onion and saute for around 8 minutes until translucent. Stir and add a bit of water during cooking to prevent burning if needed.
- Add the 4 minced garlic cloves to the onions, cook another minute. Add the ¼ cup vegetable broth, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Meanwhile, add the 2 tbsp. vegan butter to a separate small pan, along with the 1/3 cup breadcrumbs. Cook over medium heat, as the butter melts and breadcrumbs turn golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the butternut squash, pasta, and romanesco to the large pan with the onions and garlic. Stir, and add ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water along with a drizzle of olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, and most of the 1/3 cup fresh parsley, toss. Serve and top with the breadcrumbs and the remaining fresh parsley.