Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Penne

photo-155Ah Park City in the off season- beautiful blue skies, sunny crisp weather, snow capped mountains… and construction EVERYWHERE. I feel like the city votes that September through November will be the months they rip up every road, pipe and drain in the town, all at once and inconveniently detour you or make you wait in traffic. The only other place you can travel 1/2 a mile in 25 minutes is New York City during rush hour and the roundabout at Deer photo-154The good news, you can go to the farmers market at the Canyons and buy a butternut squash the size of a small baby. Seriously, I bought one butternut squash and I was able to make three separate recipes with it: Soup, Pizza and Pasta! photo-359This recipe was adapted from my favorite little Italian chef, Giada. It’s actually quite genus and I wish I could say I came up with the technique. Pasta water and goat cheese combine to make a creamy and delicious sauce with little effort!photo-158The roasted squash and onions caramelize in the oven before they are tossed with the creamy penne and fresh basil. The last touch, toasted little pepitas that lend a lovely crunch. The original recipe called for walnuts but I much prefer the delicate flavor of the pumpkin seeds with this I am always looking for tasty and filling vegetarian recipes to have on hand-¬†vegetarian or not, this recipe is definitely one of my go-to, crowd pleasing pasta dishes! Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Penne (Serves 6)


  • 1 (2-pound) butternut peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 sweet onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese- A large log is 11 oz I used the whole thing
  • 1 cup pepitas, toasted (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Finely grated Parmesan for garnish
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Chop onion and squash, mix together in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste (just enough oil to lightly coat the squash 1-2Tbls.) Arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are golden and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt after the water boils then add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce.
  5. Add the squash and onion mixture, the pepitas and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

New Zealand Penne Pasta with a touch of Sundance!

Finished pasta

So much has happened this January! Ski Boots in the Kitchen was homeless for a little while, making it very difficult to cook with out a kitchen. No need to worry though, we are now settled into our new home with a great kitchen. Last week, Sundance invaded Park City for ten days of amazing films, parties and events. I was so exhausted from having so much fun, I was scared to go near a stove for fear of setting myself on fire. sundance

It’s always entertaining to watch the Angelinos descend on PC, it’s usually pretty obvious who is from out of town by how under prepared they are for a snowy mountain town in their light jackets and shoes that have never seen snow. ThefrayI got to see the Fray which was pretty awesome. They sing that song “how to save a life” which was the opening song of Gray’s Anatomy back in the day… oh wait I think that show still exists?

I also organized a “Women at Sundance” brunch for 150 people, which was quite an undertaking. This is what breakfast for skinny LA women looks like… no bacon and egg sandwiches here (although we did have some delicious scones and fruit bars).

Jacki’s love of Wonder Woman and Girl power set the theme for the party, which was a huge success – Check out a recap of the party and the new women and film research that was released on Jacki’s website. All that partying left me wanting a big bowl of pasta and glass of wine. While I was abroad in New Zealand many years back a friend made this dish. I never knew the real name of the dish but I did ask for the recipe and have been calling it New Zealand Penne Pasta ever since. Its the perfect dish for a large crowd, a snowy night or when you’re looking for an excuse to open another bottle of wine (although I never really need an excuse). Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 1 lb. sweet or mild Italian sausage (decased)
  • 1 sweet onion (diced)
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen with Italian herbs)
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • parsley for garnish

What you do:

  1. In a large skillet, decase sausage and cook until brown.
  2. In another large pot bring salted water to boil and cook penne according to the box.
  3. Add chopped onion and cook 3-5min until onions are translucent.
  4. Add white wine and simmer until alcohol has cooked off.
  5. Add tomatoes and half and half
  6. Strain pasta and transfer to serving bowl.
  7. Combine pasta, sauce and parmesan until all the pasta is coated.
  8. Garnish with parsley and serve with garlic bread