This light, vegetarian rotini pasta recipe will surprise your taste buds in the best way possible! I went a little non-traditional and added a fall twist with charred butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and a tasty shallot sauce with butter and olive oil.
So pretty and delicious, it’s like a little fall bouquet in a bowl! This is a versatile recipe to use as lunch, warm pasta salad, or a holiday side dish! See the step-by-step below.
- 1 lb Rotini pasta
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 10 oz frozen and cubed butternut squash
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, top trimmed, and halved
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 6 oz spinach
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 6 oz goat cheese, crumbled or cut into small pieces, more if you like
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
For the Sauce
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 large shallots, sliced into half moons
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped marjoram leaves, stems removed
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Cook the Rotini pasta in boiling water according to the package instructions to al dante (which is about 1 or 2 minutes before it's cooked all the way to soft.) When ready, drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large cast iron. Add the butternut squash. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the butternut squash is cooked through. Season with a little salt. Transfer the butternut squash to a dish and set aside for now.
- Now, if needed, add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to the same cast iron skillet. Make sure the oil is hot. Now add the brussels sprouts, cut side down, and cook on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Turn the brussels sproutss over on the other side and cook for another 5 minutes until nicely browned and tender. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer to the same dish with the butternut squash for the moment.
- Now make the sauce in the same cast iron skillet. Melt the butter over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until the butter is browned and releases a nice nutty aroma. Remove the skillet from heat briefly and add the shallots, marjarom, and garlic. Stir until fragrant (less than 1 minute). Return to medium heat and add the olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Keep the sauce in the cast iron skillet on medium heat.
- Now add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir until the pasta is well coated. Season with a little more salt, black pepper, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the baby spinach and parsley. Then add the cooked butternut squash and brussels sprouts. Cook everything together on medium heat, stirring regularly, until warmed through. Taste and adjust the salt and seasoning to your liking.
- Transfer the warm rotini pasta salad to a large bowl. Drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil, if you like. Top with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature with extra goat cheese on the side! Enjoy!
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Rotini Pasta Recipe, Rotini Pasta Salad, Vegetarian Pasta Recipe