Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pasta with Roasted Acorn Squash and Marscapone

Squash and tomatoes, ready to roast!
I'm convinced that nearly everything tastes better roasted.  Roasted garlic, roasted tomatoes,  and roasted squash are the stars of this show.  The roasting process both intensifies and sweetens the flavors of the veggies, and when combined with the creamy Marscapone cheese and the woodsy tarragon and earthy sage, makes a delicious, rich and satisfying sauce.   It's almost mac & cheese-ish with how creamy it turns out, but with far fewer calories!


  • 2 acorn squash, cut into eighths (quartered and halved again) and seeded
  • 1 heaping cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 scant tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 dollops Marscapone cheese
  • 1 T chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 T chopped fresh sage
  • 1 lb tube style pasta, such as Cellentani or Penne 
  • EVOO
  • Coarse Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Cloves exposed, rubbed
with EVOO, ready to wrap
and roast!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  While it heats, prepare your veggies for roasting.  Rub the squash with EVOO and sprinkle with S&P.  Toss the tomatoes with a little bit of EVOO, S&P. For the garlic, cut the top off so that the tops of the cloves are exposed. Rub the entire head with EVOO and then wrap in a piece of aluminum foil.  Place the squash cut side up in a glass backing dish, and sprinkle the tomatoes on top of the squash.  Place the foil wrapped garlic in a corner of the dish.  Put in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes.  Check the garlic, the cloves should be soft.  Check the squash, it should be fork tender.  The tomatoes are done whenever the squash is done. 

While the veggies are roasting, take your chopped onion and sauté in large sauce pan (large enough to hold the pasta later on) over medium low heat in EVOO with a little bit of salt and pepper until it just starts to caramelize, approximately 20 minutes. If it starts to burn at all, turn the heat down lower.

Bring your pasta water to a boil.

When veggies are done, add tomatoes to the pan with the onion, and scoop the squash from the rinds and fork mash in a bowl.  Remove 5 cloves of the roasted garlic (save the rest wrapped in foil in the fridge to use for another recipe or delicious garlic bread), and rough chop it and add to pan with onion.  Sauté all together for 2-3 minutes, then deglaze with the white wine, making sure you scrape up all the good caramelized bits from the pan.

Add the fork mashed squash to the pan, and season with nutmeg and S&P.  Add enough chicken broth to make the squash and veggies form a thick sauce.  Turn the heat to low and let simmer.

Cook the pasta according to package directions for al-dente pasta.

Rich, thick & creamy!
When the pasta is almost done cooking, add the dollops of Marscapone and the chopped herbs to the sauce.  Mix well, and continue to simmer.

When pasta is done, drain and do not rinse.  Add into pan with sauce, and let cook on low for 2-3 minutes to allow flavors to marry and permeate the pasta. Serve with a bit of parmesan on top.

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