Acorn squash is neither my least nor most favourite of the winter squash family.   I use butternut squash by the bushel but acorn not so much.  I like acorn, but it’s fussy to deal with if you are doing anything that does not leave the skin in tact.  Even scooping cooked squash out of the shell can be a bit of a pain with all those grooves. Acorn squash has great flavour and texture, is low in calories and high in fibre, vitamin C and A but so are the others and I generally choose the smooth squashes instead.

That said, a ring of maple-glazed acorn squash is so pretty.   And not many squashes are of an appropriate size for stuffing.  You wouldn’t serve someone half a pumpkin, now would you?  I had envisioned doing something like that for today’s blog but when it came down to it, I really wanted pasta.    I decided on penne tossed with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and roasted squash with wilted arugula.  Sorry, there is no recipe, just an ingredient list and some basic procedures.

Squash roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. Good enough to eat as is.

Squash Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Penne

  • ½ lb pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1 medium acorn squash, peels and cubed
  • 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium onions, julienned
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through.
  2. Caramelize onions adding balsamic near the end of cooking.  Set aside.
  3. Sautee mushrooms with garlic and rosemary.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Return caramelized onions to the pan, add arugula and chicken stock.  Toss with mushrooms until wilted.
  5. Add squash cubes and pasta to pan.  Toss gently until liquid is absorbed.
  6. Add salt and pepper as required.

    The finished product. A sprinkle of parmesan and some sauteed prawns were perfect additions.

The best thing about squash is that it can take almost any flavour profile, from curry to bolognaise.   Your options are virtually endless.  Hope you enjoy National Acorn Squash Day.

Bon Appetit