Post in partnership with Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs
When the temperature drops below 90 degrees here in the valley, I call that the start of fall. This creamy delicata squash pasta is my kick-off to the season (just don’t be surprised if more tomato recipes still show up because I’ll be happily eating them for another month or so).
I will forever love the ease of using delicata squash in meals. The thin skin on this squash means there’s no peeling involved and it roasts in less than 30 minutes. The subtle earthy flavor is great for pairing with spices and helps cut through the rich goat cheese in this pasta dish.
If you can’t find delicata squash, use cubed butternut or sweet potatoes. I find those squash to be a bit sweeter, so try adding a pinch of heat to the mix or drop the maple syrup from the hazelnuts.
I like making sure we have a bit of protein with each meal and I’m happy to team up with Pete and Gerry’s for this recipe. I love working with Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs because I know they partner with a group of family farmers who are vital to their communities. The eggs are always fresh, and I know I’m buying a quality, Certified Humane Free Range and organic product. Eggs are such a staple in our house and are always on our shopping lists.
This recipe is truly the perfect blend of late summer and early fall flavors. In September, we start to see more squash but luckily my basil still lives on. If that’s not that case for you, cooler weather herbs also work well here. Try dill in place of the basil.
The maple hazelnuts, self admittedly, are a bit extra. I love the slight sweetness the maple syrup brings to the nuts and the overall dish. However, if you don’t feel like taking this extra step, regular toasted nuts are great as well. You can also swap out the hazelnuts for toasted pecans or walnuts.
Heat your oven to 425˚F. Give the squash a good scrub then cut in half lengthwise. Trim the ends then cut each half into ¼” thick slices. Place on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt. Roast until starting to brown, about 25 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, heat a small skillet over medium. Add the hazelnuts and toast until starting to brown. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup and salt. Toss to coat and transfer to a plate to cool. Wipe out the skillet, return to heat, and fry the eggs.
Next, cook the pasta according to the package directions and make the sauce. To make the sauce, combine the goat cheese, milk, salt, garlic, and zest in a bowl. Stir/whip together until well combined.
When the squash is done, remove from the oven and add the hazelnuts/basil to the sheet tray and toss the squash with the nuts/basil.
Drain the pasta, saving a bit of pasta water, and return the pasta to the pot. Add in the goat cheese mixture and stir to combine. Add in a splash of pasta water if needed to coat the noodles. Divide into bowls and top each bowl with an egg and the delicata squash.
I did not like tomatoes as a child. My mom grew tomatoes in our garden and I always turned up my nose at them. What a missed opportunity to enjoy something so delicious! As an adult with my own garden, I was excited to grow a big harvest this summer. Unfortunately, both tomato plants died before they produced any fruit! If you’re lucky enough to have a homegrown bounty of fresh tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad.
In fact, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad even if you don’t have a vegetable garden. That is, unless you’ve discovered this recipe in the dead of winter and all you can find are bland greenhouse tomatoes. In that case, bookmark this page and come back in summer when tomatoes have the absolute best flavor. I used pearl tomatoes on the vine for this recipe because they’re the perfect bite size when sliced into quarters. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand!
This marinated tomato and avocado salad is a fantastic summer recipe whether you’re barbecuing at home or headed out for a picnic. The tomatoes can chill in the fridge while you prep the rest of your feast, making this a really simple recipe to prepare if you’re in charge of multiple dishes. Dice and add the avocado just before serving for the best results.
While incredibly fresh and delicious on its own, there are many ways you can bulk up this marinated tomato and avocado salad if you need to feed a crowd. Try adding cooked quinoa, couscous, or farro. Or, turn it into a pasta salad by adding cooked and cooled shells or penne. I have big plans to spread this salad on crusty bread for a bruschetta-inspired appetizer.
1 or 2 ripe avocados, diced (depending on your preference and the size of your avocados)
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Quarter the pearl tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Peel the red onion and cut it in half from tip to root. Place the flat part of the onion on your cutting board and carefully slice it into thin half moons. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Combine the chopped garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. The marinade should be salty, tangy, and just a tad sweet – adjust the ingredients until balanced.
Pour the marinade over the sliced tomatoes and onion and gently toss to coat. Marinate the tomatoes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes. Tip: if you’re serving this salad with cooked quinoa, couscous, or pasta, reserve the marinade for extra dressing. Transfer the marinated tomatoes and onions to a serving platter and add the diced avocado. Top with chopped cilantro and serve fresh.