Butternut Squash Pasta Bake
Sinkology is proud to present Emily Schuermann, our food-loving guest blogger who runs Food for a Year. Emily is here to share some recipes she has created exclusively for the Sinkology blog that reflect her view of a copper sink: simple, timeless, affordable, and beautifully rustic.
Butternut squash is such a beautiful ingredient – both the texture and the flavor add such delight to any recipe. That’s what makes me especially excited to share a twist on the classic spaghetti bake! By adding and exchanging several ingredients it’s as if butternut squash should’ve always been part of a pasta bake recipe!
There are a few things you can do to make this recipe very easy to prepare.
Butternut Squash Pasta Bake : Let’s do this the easy way!
Start by purchasing pre-diced butternut squash in the produce section of your grocery store. If you can’t find pre-diced, then I have a hack for you! Just scroll down to the notes section of the recipe to read my tip.
Pre-grated cheese is a handy product if you are short on time. But, if you can spare a few extra minutes, cheese that’s been freshly grated melts so wonderfully that I think it’s definitely worth the effort.
Last hack, save some pasta water to loosen up the mixture before baking. This will help the pasta bake from drying out while baking.
Butternut Squash Pasta Bake :: Maximum flavors!
Between the butternut squash and the fresh sage, the pasta bake is the-perfect-meal! Cheesy, creamy squash and pasta with a crunchy, fried onion topping – my dream comfort food meal for sure! And the all-in one bowl preparation and all-in one pan baking makes this recipe a great weeknight meal solution too!
For a smaller family, divide this into two portions. Bake one pan and freeze another for later use!
Butternut Squash Pasta Bake
- 3/4 lb spaghetti, cooked 2 minutes less than as instructed on the package
- 1 c reserved pasta water or heavy whipping cream
- 3 c diced butternut squash (1/2″ in size), steamed*
- 1-2 c arugula
- 1 garlic clove minced (optional)
- 1 T fresh sage, finely chopped (or 1 t dried sage powder)
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1 t salt
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 c cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 3 c shredded Colby Jack cheese, divided*
- 1 c gruyere cheese, divided*
- 1 1/2 c fried onions, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except* 2 c Colby Jack cheese + 1/2 c gruyere cheese + fried onions). Stir well so that all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Place the half of the butternut squash and spaghetti mixture into a prepared, buttered, baker (I used a 10″ x 3″ round cast iron baker). Sprinkle with 1 c Colby Jack cheese and then add remaining pasta mixture.
Top with remaining cheeses and fried onions.
Bake 40-45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top. If top begins to get too dark, place a piece of foil loosely atop the casserole and continue baking until the center is bubbly and the cheese is melted.
If using a fresh whole butternut squash, use a fork to pierce the skin of the squash about every 3″ all over. Place the squash on it’s side in the microwave and microwave for 2-3 minutes. This will help make peeling easier. Once microwaved, chop the neck portion away from the bulb portion. Peel the neck portion then slice in 1/2″ slices. Cut in 1/2″ slices and the rotate 90° to make the final cut, forming a cube. Place 3 c diced squash in a microwaveable bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until tender throughout.
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