Creamy Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce

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.

Baked Creamy Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce

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!

Ingredients

  • 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. You can use either pecorino romano cheese or parmesan or both.
  • 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.

Baked Creamy Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce

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.

Creamy Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce

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.

Creamy Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce

Grease a baking dish with olive oil and empty mixture in the dish, sprinkle the rest of the cheese.

Creamy Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce

Bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Creamy Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce

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Creamy Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce

Baked Creamy Pasta with Butternut Squash Ricotta Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
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.
Course: Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Butternut squash, Creamy, Pasta, Ricotta
Servings: 2
Author: OliveTomato.com
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Ingredients

  • 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
  • cup grated parmesan or pecorino (can also include shavings)
  • coarse sea salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.
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Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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