It is my opinion that butternut squash is one of the most versatile of vegetables in all the land. You can roast it, bake a pie with it, use in a salad, in a soup, in muffins or in a rich and savory pasta bake.
The pasta bake is no joke. I think I made it once a month last fall/winter.
It has shallots which are one of my favorites.
BN squash is such a pretty color too.
The roux helps thicken it up and makes it rich.
And the pancetta adds a great smokey flavor.
A potato masher is a great way to break down the squash after you roast it. Otherwise, you could use a large fork.
Milk and marscapone cheese create a decadent sauce.
The green sage leaves add a burst of color.
Bubbly cheese tops it off!
Topped with crisp, crumbled pancetta.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH BOWTIE BAKE
1 pound peeled and cubed butternut squash (you can peel it yourself and end up with a pound or buy it already cubed)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, diced
1 tablespoon flour
4 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 pound bowtie pasta (i used barilla plus)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
olive oil for roasting squash
fresh sage leaves
freshly grated pepper
10 paper thin slices pancetta (you could use crisp bacon if you didn’t have pancetta)
Instructions and Directions:
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss cubed squash with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Lay cubed squash on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes. Remove squash from oven and put into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher.
Line Pancetta on the parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes until crisp. Remove from oven and drain on a paper towel.
Prepare pasta by cooking according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add butter and shallots. Whisk until the butter and the shallots start to brown. Immediately whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add milk, mascarpone and squash mash, then whisk until combined. Add nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add pasta to the mixture in the pan. Toss to coat.
Spray an 8 or 9 inch casserole dish. Fill with pasta mixture. Top with grated mozzarella and parmesan Arrange 6-8 fresh sage leaves on top. Bake 25-30 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbling. Serve and top with crumbled Pancetta.