Whole-Wheat Penne with Butternut Squash and Beet Greens

Photo: Richard Gerhard Jung

Chunks of tender butternut squash provide the beta-carotene in this hearty fall entree of whole-wheat pasta and beet greens.


  • One 16-ounce package whole-wheat penne, or other pasta

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 onion, cut into slivers

  • 1 small butternut squash (1 ½ to 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice

  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices

  • ¼ cup dry sherry

  • 3 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat

  • 3 ounces beet greens, from 1 bunch beets (or red or green Swiss chard), tough stems removed, cut into ½-inch strips

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 2 ounces low-fat goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain; set aside, covered with plastic wrap.

  2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add squash, and cook until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add sherry, and cook until liquid evaporates. Add stock, and cook until vegetables are tender and stock is reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in greens, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add pasta, salt, and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve topped with cheese.

Cook's Notes

Roast leftover beets to serve along with the pasta. Peel and cut into thin wedges, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in a 400-degree oven until tender, about 30 minutes.

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