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Monday, December 14, 2015

Winter Squash Casserole

Savory Winter Squash Casserole

This isn’t your 1950s casserole, that’s for sure! Right in line with the “throw it all in a pot and boil” is the “throw it all in the pot and bake”! We love this recipe because it uses a lot of squash, it’s super easy to make, it tastes wonderful, and it makes enough for leftovers.

Savory Winter Squash Casserole

You can make this using any type of winter squash – each will give it a unique flavor. The casserole pictured here is made from blue ballet squash. Adapted from “Autumn Squash Pasta” in Recipes from America’s Small Farms.

4 lbs. Winter Squash1 lb. Ziti, Penne, or Rotini Pasta1/2 C Olive Oil2 T Unsalted Butter2 Large Leeks1/2 Small Onion2-3 Garlic Cloves2 t Salt1 t Fresh Ground Black Pepper1 C Water (or white wine, if you have it)1/3-1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese2-3 T Fresh Parsley

Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. (You can set the seeds aside for roasting later if you like.)
Place the squash halves upside down on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Add about one inch of water to the baking sheet, and bake at 400F for 45-60 minutes, until soft.
Remove squash from baking sheet and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Note: you can do these three steps earlier in the day, or the day before and store in fridge.
While the squash cooling, cook the pasta in boiling water (salted “like the sea,” Matt says). Cook for 3 minutes less than the cooking time on the package. Then drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, coarsely chop the garlic, leeks and onion. Then remove the squash from the skins with a spoon.
Heat the oil and butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the leeks, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent but make sure the garlic does not burn.
Add the squash and 1/2 cup of water/wine, stirring until a thick sauce is formed. Add extra water/wine as needed to make it thick but not too thick.

Just Before Baking

Fold in the cooked pasta, taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.
Spoon into a glass baking dish (or two, if you only have a small one). Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese browns. Serve onto plates and top with fresh parsley.

Makes 8 side servings or 4 full servings.

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