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Warding Off The Chill - Pasta With Butternut Squash Sauce

Updated: Jan 23

At the risk of angering, well, everyone I know, I’ve been watching the flurries outside, and was hoping for a beautiful blanket of snow.

I only want it one time, and I would have preferred it on Christmas Day. But it is so beautiful and still fills me with the little kid “snow day” excitement I’ve never quite lost. Of course, the counterpoint to that  is the warming components that make it delightful to view the cold weather from indoors - a nice fire, perhaps a hot toddy, and something hot to make your belly happy. Here it is.


INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cups cubed butternut squash

1 head garlic

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

crushed red pepper flakes

kosher salt and black pepper

8 slices prosciutto

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1 pound long or short cut pasta ( I used fresh cavatelli)

2 tablespoons salted butter

1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage

1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


METHOD

Preheat oven to 400.

On a baking sheet, toss together the olive oil, butternut squash, garlic, thyme, 1 tablespoon rosemary, and a pinch each of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Arrange the prosciutto around the squash.

Cut the top off of a head of garlic and place on a piece of foil. Drizzle some oil into the head and cover it with the sides of the foil, placing it on the baking sheet with everything else.

Bake for 20 minutes, check the prosciutto, then bake another 10-15 minutes, until the squash is tender.

Add the butternut squash, garlic, and ricotta to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.

In a large skillet, melt together the butter, sage, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Cook until the butter is browning, then add the butternut puree and 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, stirring until combined. Melt in the Gouda and Parmesan.

Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. If needed, thin the pasta sauce with a little of the reserved cooking water.

Divide the pasta between plates. Top with Parmesan and prosciutto.

If you REALLY want to warm things up,  try some Mike’s Hot Honey on top (regular or extra spicy). It’s a bit hot for me, but my Quality Control tester assures me that it’s a good counterpoint to the sweetness of the butternut squash.

Now that we’ve had our one snow, let’s finish with this cold weather and move on to  sunshine and palm trees.



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