Pepita Pesto Pasta with Roasted Squash

I just had the most amazing lunch.

I found this recipe in Rachel Ray's Magazine and knew immediately it would be a hit.

The very last of my fresh basil couldn't have been put to a better use.
It's really easy and fast to make. has roasted squash. Yum!

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Pepita Pesto Pasta with Roasted Squash
Serves 4

Salt and pepper
1 pound whole wheat penne
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (for pesto), plus more for drizzling
Nutmeg, for grating
1 cup packed mixed herbs, such as cilantro, basil and flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
2 cloves garlic, crushed or pasted
Juice of 1 lime

Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.

While the pasta is working, on a baking sheet, drizzle the squash with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Roast until tender and charred at the edges, about 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a food processor, pulse 1/3 cup olive oil, the herbs, cheese, pepitas, chili peppers, garlic and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pesto, reserved starchy cooking water and the squash to the drained pasta. Toss gently and serve.

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