Pasta with squash, sage and walnuts


Fresh sage is gorgeous with squash and pumpkin, and did you know that the Regather community garden (out front on Club Garden Road) has a couple of big sage bushes? Come on down and grab some. Squash and sage also make a great risotto – loads of recipe variations online. The pasta dish below is from they call for spaghetti or linguini but I prefer short pasta for this, like fusilli or farfalle. For a simpler sage-squash outing, gently fry chopped sage leaves, garlic and pine nuts in butter or oil and then add your roasted squash chunks, toss well to combine, and serve as a side.


  • 2 cups cubed raw butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter (or more olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped sage leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Big squeeze of lemon juice
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Two portions of dried pasta (& save some pasta water)
  • Two handfuls of chopped spinach (or kale or chard leaves, but if using add at step 3)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley (optional)
  • Grated pecorino or parmesan cheese or vegan substitute (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / gas 4. Roast the butternut squash cubes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for about 20 mins or until soft and mostly cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in salty water until al dente and reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Meanwhile, put a frying pan on medium heat.
  3. Add olive oil and butter, then add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the chopped sage and cook for another 30 seconds, then add the walnuts, chickpeas, butternut squash cubes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chickpeas and squash brown a bit but before the garlic burns.
  4. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of balsamic and stir. Add the cooked pasta and the spinach. Use tongs to gently toss the pasta with everything in the pan, allowing the greens to wilt. Add pasta water to help loosen it (about ¼ cup). Add some grated cheese at this step if you like.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat, then stir in the chopped parsley and serve with extra grated cheese.