Serves 6, ½ cup orzo and 1 piece of squash per serving
- 1 large winter squash (such as butternut or acorn)
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pinch ground cayenne pepper
- ¾ cup orzo pasta
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Aluminum foil
- Baking sheet
- Cutting board
- Large pot
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Medium bowl
- Sharp knife
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Rinse and cut squash in half. Remove seeds.
- If using fresh rosemary, rinse and chop now.
- Drizzle 1 teaspoon maple syrup over the cut side of each squash half. Sprinkle each with red pepper flakes and cayenne. If using rosemary, add now.
- Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place squash halves on the baking sheet. Roast until squash is tender and pierces easily with a fork, about 30–35 minutes. Remove from oven. Keep squash loosely covered with foil.
- Cook pasta following package directions. Drain in a colander. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat well.
- Cut each squash half into thirds. Remove skin from squash. Serve one piece of squash over each portion of pasta.
- If using grated Parmesan cheese, sprinkle over squash and orzo now.
- Orzo and squash reheat well without losing flavor or quality. Cook the entire meal the night before. Refrigerate until ready to serve the next day.
- For faster cooking, heat squash halves in the microwave. Heat for 7 minutes on high, or until squash is tender and pierces easily with a fork.
- For a quicker pasta dish, peel squash and chop into bite-size pieces. Using the same ingredients as in step 4, roast squash for 25 minutes. Toss with cooked whole wheat pasta, olive or canola oil, and grated Parmesan cheese.