Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprout Pasta with Lemon-Sage Ricotta

Carb-haters beware, this recipe is not for you! (But, I urge you to take a look anyway because the benefits of carbs are numerous.)

For me, the key to having pasta for dinner is making sure it is filling and satisfying enough — which I do by using whole-wheat pasta and adding lots of vegetables and a source of protein – beans, cheese and ground beef or turkey are my go-tos.

For this recipe, I've added roasted cubes of butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, sage, lemon and a hint of maple syrup — making this dish the perfect complement of sweet and savory.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprout Pasta with Lemon-Sage Ricotta

Recipe by Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more additional oil for frying sage garnish
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 2 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup blanched hazelnuts, cut into halves
  • 1 pound 100-percent whole-wheat pasta
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped sage, plus additional sage leaves for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts and onions with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon maple syrup and spread on one prepared baking sheet. Roast 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Toss cubed squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon maple syrup and spread on second prepared baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking time. When vegetables are finished roasting, toss all together with ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, toast hazelnuts in a dry skillet until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt and making sure not to overcook. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining.
  6. While pasta is cooking, mix together ricotta, chopped sage, lemon zest and lemon juice, remaining tablespoon maple syrup, ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper.
  7. Drain pasta, return to pot, and toss with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Add lemon-sage ricotta to the pasta and toss to coat. Add reserved pasta water as needed to make sure pasta is well-coated. Add the vegetables, toasted hazelnuts, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and fresh pepper to taste. Toss again.
  8. Prior to serving, fry sage leaves in oil. Serve pasta with fried sage leaves on top. Serves 6 to 8.

* This recipe originally appeared on Jessica Fishman Levinson's Nutritioulicious blog in October 2014.

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Jessica Fishman Levinson
Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, is a nationally recognized nutrition expert with a focus on culinary nutrition and communications. Jessica’s passion lies in the kitchen, where she develops nutritious and delicious recipes to feed her family and inspire others to do the same. She is an experienced and published nutrition writer, author and speaker. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.