We are pretty close to overdosing on pasta dishes with squash. It's one of our very favorite things to eat this time of year. Butternut, acorn, delicata... you name it. The sweetness and creaminess of winter squash is so perfect in pasta, whether it's in big chunks or puréed into a sauce. If you haven't tried this combination, do it tonight. It's easy. Before we started adding squash to our pasta, we thought it sounded a bit heavy. Squash can be pretty starchy and filling, just like pasta. We weren't sure the two would play nice together. Maybe it would be overkill.
But it's delicious. Biting down on a just-tender piece of al dente pasta with a hunk of soft, sweet squash is heaven. Both go very nicely with some sort of pork, whether it's pancetta (as in this dish) or crumbled sausage.
If you don't have a ton of time, peeling and cubing the squash before you roast it can be helpful. We're lazy about the peeling, so we like to slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast it until it's soft. You can still cut out big chunks once it's cooked, or you can scrape out the flesh and mash it before you add it to the pasta.
An even quicker method would be braising the squash (follow these instructions). You could make a big batch to eat as a dip or to put in pasta as a sauce.
Lately our favorite has been bowtie pasta with butternut squash, sausage, sage, sautéed shallots, and an entire head of roasted garlic squeezed in at the last minute. Amazing. We save a bit of pasta water to loosen everything up once it's combined.
The recipes above are:
• Pasta with Butternut Squash, Sage, and Pine Nuts, from the Kitchn
• Whole Wheat Lasagna with Butternut Squash and Kale, from Sunset (we're dying to try this!)
Related: Penne with Acorn Squash and Pancetta
(Images: Faith Durand; Annabelle Breakey/Sunset)