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Pasta with Spinach, Roasted Squash, Shallots & Ricotta

You’ll have noticed that I haven’t mixed squash and pasta before, or I don’t know, maybe you haven’t noticed. I have to say my instinct that they rarely go together still stands. Yes, squash is vegetable, but a starchy/solid one, and I think the combination is usually just a little too stodgy.

That said, this was enjoyable.  Sometimes some good sturdy stodge is just what you  need – chilly yard clean-up days, anyone? Cheese and spinach makes this a complete meal.

We had a bumper harvest of squash this year, and the quality is good. This is just the beginning of quite a few squash dishes for us.

4 servings
1 hour 15 minutes – 30 minutes prep time

Pasta with Spinach, Roasted Squash, Shallots & Ricotta

Roast the Squash, Etc:
1500 grams (3 pounds) butternut squash
6 to 8 large shallots
2  tablespoons mild vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons rubbed savory OR sage
450 grams (1 pound) ricotta cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Peel and de-seed the squash, and cut it into rather large bite-sized pieces. Peel the shallots and cut them in halves or quarters if large, which they are, ideally.

Toss the squash and shallots with the oil in a large shallow baking tray – they should be able to be spread out in a mostly single layer. Sprinkle them with the seasonings and toss again.

Roast the squash and shallots for 30 minutes. Stir them, and dollop the ricotta cheese over them. Return the tray to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Cook the Pasta & Finish:
320 grams (11 ounces) chunky pasta
1 bunch spinach
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
60 grams (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, grated

Meanwhile, start a large pot of salted water on to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions so that they will be done cooking within a minute or two of the squash and shallots.

Pick over the spinach and wash it very well, and drain it. Chop it coarsely. Add it to pasta for the last 2 or 3 minutes of boiling – you may wish to add an extra minute to the pasta cooking time to allow for the water to come back to the boil.

Peel and mince the garlic. Grate the Parmesan.

When the pasta is done, drain it well. Take the squash from the oven, and mix the garlic into it at once. Mix the pasta and spinach in gently, trying to break neither squash nor pasta. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the dish and serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Cauliflower with Leeks & Carrots.

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