Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta
- Total Time
This pasta casserole is a hearty yet elegant combination of whole wheat penne, rich butternut squash, toasted walnuts, ricotta and Parmesan cheese.
cooking spray2 spray(s)
uncooked butternut squash20 oz, fresh, peeled and cubed*
table salt⅛ tsp, for cooking pasta
uncooked whole wheat pasta12 oz, penne
fat free skim milk1 ¼ cup(s)
white all-purpose flour2 Tbsp
minced garlic2 tsp
table salt½ tsp
black pepper¼ tsp, freshly ground, or to taste
fresh thyme1 Tbsp, fresh, chopped, divided
part-skim ricotta cheese½ cup(s)
grated Parmesan cheese⅓ cup(s), Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended
chopped walnuts¼ Tbsp, toasted
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Coat a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place squash on prepared baking sheet; roast until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Place in a large bowl and mash.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. After squash has been roasting for about 10 minutes, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pot.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in mashed squash and 2 1/2 teaspoons of thyme. Add sauce to pasta; toss to mix and coat.
- Transfer pasta mixture to prepared baking dish; dot with spoonfuls of ricotta and then sprinkle with Parmesan and walnuts. Bake until top is lightly browned in a few spots, about 15 to 20 minutes; remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Yields about 1 cup per serving.