Tasty Butternut Squash Pasta Bake with pureed squash folded into creamy ricotta cheese and sage herb adding delicious flavor!
Even though butternut squash is available all year long, I find myself cooking it more often during Autumn. It’s the ultimate comfort food that’s sweet enough to be used in baked goods just like pumpkin is, but I enjoy it most in savory dishes like this vegetarian chili, hash with poached eggs or this apple butternut squash soup and now in this pasta bake!
Squash seems to make more of an appearance when the weather changes and the air is cool. We’re still hitting 70+ degree weather in California, but there is a cool breeze in the evenings, so I’m anticipating refreshing, crisp, cool air that I am sure will come soon!
This dish is filling and bursting with flavor. The cheese adds quite a bit of protein (28 grams per cup), and the butternut squash digests slowly so I found that we stayed satisfied for quite awhile. The ricotta and squash are creamy and delicious together, and when it’s baked with the tomatoes and pasta you’ll have one hearty meal that tastes even better if you are lucky to have leftovers to reheat!
- ½ pound rigatoni pasta, cooked al dente
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 ounce) can chopped plum tomatoes with juice
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- CHEESE FILLING
- 3 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs,
- ¼ cup fresh sage. minced
- 1 Tablespoon lemon rind, grated
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large butternut squash cooked and pureed
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Prepare pasta and set aside. Prepare squash and set aside.
- For sauce, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and saute until onion is soft. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add basil and set aside.
- For cheese filling, combine ricotta, eggs, sage, lemon peel, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add squash and combine all ingredients together.
- To assemble, Put half of the sauce into the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking dish. Spread pasta evenly in the baking dish. Spoon cheese/squash filling over the pasta.
- Top with remaining sauce and finish topping the dish with the mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses. Cover with foil and bake 45 to 50 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.