I am so hungry right now. I was already hungry before I started typing because my lunch was tiny, but then add in that I am looking at pictures of this REALLY good dinner from last week and I am positively drooling. Please forgive me while I salivate at the screen. Last week I saw the recipe for pumpkin cream sauce on penne in Rachael Ray, but not liking pumpkin much I immediately switched to Butternut squash and never looked back. The nutty and almost sweet roasted butternut squash with the cream...oooh and cheese. So good! And, it was even better the next day because a lot of the sauce was absorbed by the pasta, so it was all flavored with the butternut squash. It was just very good and very rich and filling. And really not that bad for you (ok, I know it has cream and cheese, but still, all that squash!)
Celebrate Autumn: AYE.Rachael Ray)
1 lb penne or ziti pasta
2lb butternut squash
2 TBSP butter
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper (crucial, do not skimp)
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup parmesan plus more to top
1. Preheat oven to 400. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on a roasting sheet and roast about 45 min until tender. When done, let cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, remove any dark areas from the cut edge, then spoon the rest of the flesh into a bowl. Puree with your handy dandy imersion blender (or in a regular blender) until smooth.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water.
3. Meanwhile, in another large pot or pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper (remember, do not skimp!) ; cook, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the squash and half and half and bring to a boil. Mix in the pasta and the reserved pasta cooking water. Stir in the parmesan; season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve. Top the pasta with the parsley and more parmesan.