Thursday, September 18, 2014


Here it is y’all, my first fall like recipe of the year, and it’s a doozy!  Of course it would have to be a pasta recipe; cuz pasta is the love of my life! 

Butternut Squash Penne with Pistachio Pesto is not only the yummiest thing on the planet, but it’s also gives you power to save the world!  Power in the form of nutrients I tell you! 

Pistachios are a tree nut, and tree nuts are packed with protein, healthy fats, and minerals.  A diet rich in nuts lowers cholesterol, and has a lower risk of coronary artery disease, and strokes.  They also provide anti-oxidant activity helping to fight off cancer and diseases.

Hemp seeds have a mild nutty flavor.  Hemp seeds, besides being protein packed, are a power house of omega-3 and omega-6.  These fatty acids promote heart health, lower triglycerides, work to reduce inflammation, promote brain health, and support the immune system.

Roasted butternut squash, perhaps my favorite of the squashes has high levels of vitamin A, which give you the power to see in the dark and through brick walls…or at least helps to protect your eye sight!

Here are a couple of tips for making Pistachio Pesto:

You can buy roasted and shelled pistachios, but my store only had a big container that costs $14, and I wasn't paying $14; so I shelled these roasted, unsalted pistachios.  To remove the skins, place them in a clean towel, close up the towel and rub the pistachios together.  The friction will remove most of the skin.
Toss all of the ingredients for the pesto into a food processor and blitz until the pistachios are finely chopped, if it is over processed, it will become pistachio hemp butter instead of pistachio pesto.  This pesto is a little thick, which is just what you want.

Serve Butternut Squash Penne with Pistachio Pesto up with a salad of dark greens (such as spinach or kale), and you’ll not only have the power to save this world, but the entire universe!

BTW, stay tuned to see how I use Pistachio Pesto with chicken!



Makes about 1 cup

2/3         cup                         Roasted unsalted pistachios, shelled
1/3         cup                         Hulled hemp seeds
1/3         cup                         Grated parmesan cheese
½           small clove                Garlic, minced
¼           cup                         Extra Virgin olive oil
2            Tbsp.                       Grape seed, avocado or canola oil
1/8         tsp.                         Pepper
A            pinch                       Salt

1.  Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the pistachios are very finely chopped, be sure to stop before it becomes a paste.

Notes: * You may omit the hemp seed and replace it with more pistachios (about ½ cup more).
       **For vegan pesto, omit the parmesan cheese.


Serves 4

6              cups                       Butternut squash, peeled and diced into about 1/2 inch cubes (1 small squash)
2              Tbsp.                      Olive oil
1              tsp.                        Fresh rosemary, thyme, or sage, finely chopped
½             tsp.                        Dried Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning
¼             tsp.                        Pepper
¾             package                  Penne pasta, a package is 16 ounces
1              cup                        Reserved pasta cooking water
1              recipe                     Pistachio pesto

1.  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Toss together the butternut squash, olive oil, fresh rosemary (thyme or sage), dried Herbs de Provence (or Italian seasoning), pepper and a sprinkle of salt.  Spread this in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.
3.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Generously salt the water and add the pasta.  Cook the pasta for about 3 minutes less than the package directions state.  When the pasta has cooked remove 1 cup of the cooking water and put that to the side.  Drain the pasta.
4.  Add the pasta back to the pot along with the roasted butternut squash, the reserved cooking water and the Pistachio pasta.  Cook over medium-high heat stirring continually until the water is absorbed and the pasta is al dente.  Remove from the heat and season with more salt & pepper if needed.

Note:  *Roasting the squash gives it more depth of flavor, but if you want to skip that step, just add the squash to the water with the pasta.


  1. This looks amazing! Seriously some of my favorite things ever in that dish. YUM!