I love winter squash and don’t get tired of eating it. I love it roasted, made into smooth soups, or made into chunky Thai soup with tofu and curry, and I love it mashed up with butter, salt, and pepper. This pasta dish is my new favorite to eat winter squash. One of its charms is that it doesn’t call for a lot of ingredients and another of its charms is how fast and easy it is to prepare. I have made it several times in the last few weeks and always in a huge batch because I need leftovers for lunches for three adults. I give you the recipe for a regular sized batch but if you want a giant pot of this just double the recipe. The sauce will become very thick after cooling so you can add a little water when reheating if you like.
Winter Squash Ricotta Pasta Recipe
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 cup winter squash (cooked)
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 cup water
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- black pepper to taste
- 12 ounces angel hair pasta
- Heat the olive oil in a pot on med/high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent and browning slightly. While sauteeing the onion, fill another pot full of water with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil, then add your pasta.
- Puree the winter squash, ricotta, water, and all the seasonings in a bowl using an immersion blender (or you can use your food processor for this). When it's completely smooth add it to your onion and let it come to a boil and then turn the heat down to med/low while your pasta is cooking. Stir frequently. Take off the heat when your pasta is done cooking.
- Drain the pasta, add it to the pot with the sauce and toss it well.
This whole recipe comes together within fifteen minutes for me. I suggest having all your ingredients measured out before you begin so you don't have to mess with it while everything is cooking. If your onion is done but you aren't ready to add the sauce to it - be sure to take it off the heat so it doesn't burn. If you want your sauce to be thinner - just add more water. You can use broth, of course, but this recipe doesn't require broth for flavor. One other thing - I've played around with the cayenne amounts and I like it somewhat spicy. If 1/8 tsp seems like too much for you then start with less.
What kind of winter squash you use is up to you. I prefer rich dry squash varieties such as butternut, buttercup, hubbard, or Queensland blue. To bake squash you cut them open, gut them of seeds, halve or quarter them and put on a baking sheet and cook in an oven at 375 degrees until soft. There is no need to cover in foil or oil the baking sheet or the squash.
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