Fall produce week continues, and today's featured ingredient is the beloved butternut squash. Although it has a thick skin, squash flesh roasts in a high-heat oven in less than 20 minutes.
Tossed with pasta, sage, and a creamy mascarpone sauce, this dish is decadent and delicious. If you are a vegetarian, simply omit the ham.
Look at this luxurious recipe when you
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 3 scallions including green tops, chopped
- 3/4 pound penne
- 1/4 pound sliced smoked ham, such as Black Forest, cut into thin strips
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Heat the oven to 450°.
- Put the squash on a large baking sheet and toss with the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the pepper, and sage. Spread the squash out in a single layer. Roast, turning occasionally, until tender and starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, stir together the mascarpone, half-and-half, scallions, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne until just done, about 13 minutes.
- Reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water and drain. Return the pasta to the hot pan.
- Stir in the squash, mascarpone sauce, and ham. If the sauce seems too thick, add some of the reserved pasta-cooking water. Serve topped with the Parmesan.
- Pasta, Main Dishes