The most comforting fall and winter pasta full of Mediterranean flavors: Butternut squash comes together with ricotta cheese to make a delicious creamy sauce in this delicious pasta dish.
This butternut squash pasta hits all the right spots: creamy, savory -with a touch of sweet- and comforting. Pasta in itself is comforting, but when you add this creamy sauce, it elevates the dish to another level! And it is so easy to make.
Nutrition-wise it is quite healthy. I add plenty of squash so that there are more vegetables in here than pasta. This dish provides high amounts of immunity-supporting beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A, in addition to that you are also getting vitamin C, potassium, fiber, protein, and calcium.
I also saute the squash in a pan with a bit of olive oil, locking in the flavors instead of roasting it and then I blend it with ricotta cheese for a wonderful creamy sauce that is so good!
- Butternut squash: I find it easy to prepare and it cooks fairly quickly. But you can use other types of squash or even pumpkin.
- Ricotta: I use whole milk ricotta for this particular recipe. Ricotta is a fresh cheese that is naturally lower in fat than other types of cheese.
- Parmesan or Romano: You need aged cheese here to balance out the sweetness of the ricotta. I like to add a few shavings of cheese in addition to grated cheese.
- Pasta: I used a tubular pasta as it blends in well with the squash.
- Coarse sea salt: Brings out the flavors.
- Fresh ground pepper: Gives that kick to the dish.
How to make Creamy Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce
Start by cooking the squash. Heat olive oil in a medium pan and sauté the garlic for a minute or two, then add the squash, stir, cover, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until soft and pierceable with a fork.
Empty the squash and garlic in a bowl and smash with a fork, add the ricotta, a pinch of salt and mix well. Place back in the pan.
Preheat oven at 400 F (200 C).
In the meantime, start boiling the pasta.
Once pasta is ready, empty the pasta in the squash-ricotta mixture with about 2-3 tablespoons pasta water and heat for a few minutes stirring well. Sprinkle with half of the grated cheese or shavings. Add fresh ground pepper and another pinch of salt for taste and mix again.
Grease a baking dish with olive oil and empty mixture in the dish, sprinkle the rest of the cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
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- Roasted Mediterranean Butternut Squash with Feta
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- Greek Crustless Butternut Squash Savory Pie
Creamy Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus more for greasing baking dish
- 2 cloves of garlic quartered
- 1 ⅓ lb. (600 g) butternut squash peeled and cut in 1 inch (2 cm) cubes
- 8 oz (250 g) ricotta cheese
- 6 oz (160 g) penne or rigatoni
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan or pecorino (can also include shavings)
- coarse sea salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- In a large pan add 1 tbsp olive oil and sauté the garlic for a minute. Add the chopped butternut squash, a pinch of salt, cover and continue heating on low heat until soft and pierceable with a fork, 15-20 minutes.
- Empty the squash and garlic in a bowl and smash with a fork,add the ricotta, a pinch of salt and mix well. Place back in the pan.
- In the meantime, boil the pasta al dente, save some of the pasta water.
- Preheat oven at 400 F (200 C) and grease a baking dish with olive oil.
- Once pasta is ready, empty the pasta in the squash-ricotta mixture with about 2-3 tablespoons pasta water and heat for a few minutes stirring well. Sprinkle with half of the grated cheese or shavings. Add fresh ground pepper and another pinch of salt for taste and mix again.
- Empty the pasta- butternut squash mix in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bake for 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately with some fresh ground pepper.
- You can also skip the baking step and serve as is, but it won’t have that crunch on the surface.
- To store: Cover and store in the refrigerator for 2 days.
Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved