What I'm Cooking: Butternut Penne Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms & Ricotta

My love for butternut squash has grown along with this blog. It was one of my first farmers market challenges and has become a winter staple. I had one hanging around for a couple of weeks on my countertop and tweeted my rockin' foodie Twitter followers asking what I should make.  I ended up taking elements from a few people and turning them into this Butternut Penne Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms & Ricotta.

This blog has taught me that I don't necessarily need a formal recipe to create something tasty, but I'll give my best shot seeing as I didn't measure anything this time around. The how-to after the jump...

Butternut Penne Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms & Ricotta
I just made a single serving, so if you are cooking for more people, consider multiplying this out appropriately.

Ingredients (approx measurements):
Half butternut squash
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup mushrooms
1 small shallot
1 cup penne pasta (dry)
3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon parmesan (grated - note, I was trying to be healthy, feel free to add more!)
olive oil

1.) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2.) Peel butternut squash (with a vegetable peeler). Cut in half down the middle (this is easier if you lop of one of the ends first to give you a steady base.) Scoop out the seeds. Put one side away for another time. Dice the remaining half in cubes. Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet and put the cubes on top. Drizzle the top of the cubes with a little more olive oil, salt and pepper (and maybe some nutmeg or cinnamon). Cook for 40 minutes.
3.) About 20 minutes in, go ahead and start prepping your pasta. I used penne, but you could use any kind. (When done, drain and set aside.)
4.) About 10 minutes out, on medium high heat, drizzle olive oil in pan, add shallots and cook til clear. Add 2 handfuls of spinach (washed and dried) and a half cup (or so) of cleaned mushrooms. Cook for about about 5-6 minutes (until the spinach is wilted and the mushrooms are heated thoroughly).
5.) Right about now the butternut squash should be done. Remove from oven.
6.) In a bowl, toss butternut squash, penne, spinach & mushrooms and top with your favorite cheese. I used 3 dollops of ricotta and about a tablespoon of parmesan.
7.) Eat up. Goes great with wine!

So, now I've made a butternut squash three ways: risotto, tart and penne. What's your favorite recipe or way to cook it?

1 comment:

Shawn Siker said...

Hey, I tried your Butternut Penne with Spinach , Mushroom and Ricotta last night since the wife was out of town and I absolutely loved it. You have great recipes on here and I love trying them. So far I have tried three, can't wait to try the next one. Keep them coming!!