Everywhere I look right now, there is squash. Bins and bins of colorful gourds are currently overflowing at every market and grocery store. I wanted to seize the opportunity to make a delicious seasonal pasta bake that is light and warm, perfect for fall. From the masses available, I picked out a classic: butternut squash.
The first step, of course, is dicing up the butternut squash. Just a note- if you don’t feel like going through the prep work, you can usually find cubed butternut squash at the grocery store. To prepare the squash, I usually cut a slice off the bottom of the squash so that it can stand flat on the counter while I peel it. After peeling the squash, carefully cut it in half with a large knife. Then scoop out the seeds and discard.
At this point your butternut squash is ready for roasting in halves or slicing into cubes. For this recipe, slice the squash into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, and then roast in the oven for about half an hour.
This is a three-step pasta bake: first you cook the squash and pasta, then combine all of the ingredients on the stove, and finish by transferring everything to the oven to bake.
While the squash is roasting, you can boil the pasta. After both the pasta and squash are done, sauté the shallots in a large pot or Dutch oven. Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir it all together, reserving a little of the cheese and parsley to sprinkle on the top. I transferred the mixture to a baking dish to bake in the oven, but if you use a Dutch oven you can put that directly in.
I really like this recipe because unlike some other (often heavily cheesy) pasta dishes, this one is perfectly light and doesn’t weigh you down after eating it. So next time you head past that overflowing bin of squash that I know is at your supermarket, go ahead and grab a squash for a tasty, savory weeknight meal.
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small cubes
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 8 oz. rotini pasta
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 shallots, diced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 6 oz. mascarpone cheese
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped Italian parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle cubed butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 25 minutes until fork-tender, stirring once.
- Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. In a Dutch oven or deep pot, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until they start to become translucent.
- Stir in the lemon juice. Add cooked noodles and roasted squash to the shallot mixture. Stir in the mascarpone, ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, ½ tbsp parsley, and a bit of salt and black pepper. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Top with remaining Parmesan and parsley. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, uncovered, until the top begins to brown.