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+ servings

Baked Butternut Squash Pasta

Ingredients

  • ½ cup hazelnuts or walnuts
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)
  • 1 medium butternut squash weighing about 2 ½ pounds, halved, seeded, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 6 -8 cups) - alternatively, I like to buy frozen squash that has already been cubed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock (or broth) + more as needed, to thin the sauce
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cups Parmesan, finely grated (about 2 oz), divided + more for serving
  • 1 pound paccheri or rigatoni (use gluten-free noodles to make the entire recipe gluten-free)
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn
  • fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Toast the Hazelnuts
  • Preheat oven to 350° F with a rack in the middle.
  • Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until golden brown ( ~ 6-8 minutes ).
  • Let them cool before chopping and transferring them to a bowl

  • Roast the Squash
  • Turn the oven up to 400 deg F. Prepare a 9x13 (or equivalent sized) baking vessel and set aside
  • Combine squash and oil in a large bowl, along with a glug of olive oil, a strong pinch of salt, and a grind or two of black pepper
  • Arrange the squash in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for ~ 30 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender
  • Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes

  • Boil the Pasta
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously, and cook the pasta until it’s three minutes shy of al dente
  • Drain and set aside

  • Saute the onions
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm a small amount of olive oil
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’ve begun to soften and are golden brown ( ~ 8 - 10 minutes )
  • Add the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant ( ~ 1 minute )
  • Let cool slightly

  • Make the Sauce
  • To the bowl of your food processor (or blender) add the sauteed onions, 1 cup chicken stock, 1 cup Parmesan, and the roasted squash (you may have to puree in batches)
  • If the sauce is too thick, thin it with more chicken stock ( The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon )
  • Pour the sauce into the skillet you used to saute saute the onions
  • Over low heat stirring frequently, add the Greek yogurt and warm it through, taking great care not to let the sauce boil

  • Bake and Serve
  • Set your oven to 350° F
  • Pour a half-cup of the sauce into your baking dish and spread it to the edges
  • Scatter the pasta on top, and pour the remaining sauce over. Stir gently to combine
  • Top with ½ cup Parmesan
  • Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and increase the oven temp to 425° F
  • Continue to bake until the top has darkened in spots and the sauce is bubbling (~ 10 - 15 minutes)
  • Top with the toasted hazelnuts and basil