This earthy baked pasta is more sophisticated than the typical marinara-baked versions and makes a lovely main for fall and winter.
Serves: 8Save Share
1 Butternut Squash
½ cup Water
1 T Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves
28 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
½ cup Chopped Basil
3 cup Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
¼ cup Minced Sage
1 T Dried Minced Lemon Peel
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ lb Penne Pasta
or ½ lb Rigatoni
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
½ cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Preheat oven to 375F.
To make squash: Place butternut squash halves, cut side down, in a baking pan. Add 1/2 cup water and bake 35 to 40 minutes until tender. Cool and then scoop squash flesh from shell. Set aside.
To make sauce: Heat olive oil in a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until soft. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add the basil; set aside.
To make filling: Combine ricotta, eggs, sage, lemon peel, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Add cooked butternut squash and combine well. Filling can be chunky; it doesn't have to be mixed until smooth.
To assemble: Ladle half the sauce onto bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place pasta in baking dish and spread evenly. Spoon squash filling over the pasta (it doesn't have to be an even layer; it can look like little pillows, and you may leave small mounds with some pasta peeking out).
Ladle remaining sauce over squash and top with mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 to 50 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.