Squash Stuffed Pasta: Seasonal Chef Recipe

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This is a stuffed pasta dish that can be prepared in under an hour. The key is multi-tasking. While the squash cooks in the oven you can be making the other filling components, the sauce and boiling the pasta. The key is to be organized and have things prepped before you start. To read more about the blue hubbard squash and see how our Seasonal Chef prepared this dish click this link: blue hubbard squash. This is also a great make ahead dish. Simply prepare up to the baking part. Cover and refrigerate or freeze. Then follow the baking instructions prior to serving.

Squash Stuffed Pasta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 6-8

While this squash stuffed pasta recipe will take just under an hour put together (before baking), the steps are very easy. The key is to be very organized before you start.

Ingredients

  • SAUCE
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 quart milk, warmed
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 yolk, whisked in a separate small bowl
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • --
  • FILLING
  • 1 cup onion, ¼” dice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1-2 cloves
  • 2 cups greens sliced thin, kale, beet or spinach
  • 2 cups pureed squash
  • 1 – 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ½ teaspoon dry thyme, or 2 teaspoons fresh minced
  • 8 oz bag of Sargento 6 Cheese Italian Blend, or similar
  • 1 box of manicotti or large shells pasta, cooked to al dente and drained

Instructions

  1. In a heavy pan melt the butter and add flour. Whisk and cook until slightly foamy and pale gold. Slowly add in the warmed milk and continue to whisk until incorporated. Add ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper and continue whisking until it comes together and barely starts to simmer.
  2. Scoop out a few tablespoons at a time and whisk into the yolk. This is called “tempering.” You want to bring the temperature of the yolk up, so it doesn’t scramble in the sauce.
  3. Once you’ve incorporated about a cup of the milk mixture into the yolk, pour it slowing back into the milk and cook about another 3 to 4 minutes whisking very well to incorporate it all. Add the nutmeg and taste for seasoning. You may need a little more salt and pepper. Take it off the heat and set aside.
  4. While you are making the sauce, in another pan saute the onions with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Add in the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Remove to a large bowl.
  5. Add the chopped greens to the onion pan, with a drizzle of oil and seasoning of salt and pepper and wilt slightly, about 1-2 minutes. Add that to the onions and cool slightly.
  6. Add the squash to the onion-green mix and combine with the spatula. Add in the ricotta cheese, beaten eggs, thyme, ¾ cup of shredded cheese and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix well with your spatula.
  7. In a baking dish or pan spread out 2 ½ cups of the sauce. Fill the manicotti or shells with the filling and place in the pan. Using a spoon for even coverage, top each with the remaining sauce and shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the foil and broil for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

Notes

To cook the squash, break into 4 pieces and remove the seeds. Season with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven until soft and tender. Cool slightly and scrape onto a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. A 5 pound blue hubbard squash will yield about 4 cups of puree. This will take about 40 minutes in total.

http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/10/08/stuffed-pasta/

Squash Stuffed Pasta
Serves 6-8

SAUCE
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
1 quart milk, warmed
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
1 yolk, whisked in a separate small bowl
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

FILLING
1 cup onion, ¼” dice
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1-2 cloves
2 cups greens sliced thin, kale, beet or spinach
2 cups pureed squash
1 – 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
2 eggs beaten
½ teaspoon dry thyme, or 2 teaspoons fresh minced
8 oz bag of Sargento 6 Cheese Italian Blend, or similar
1 box of manicotti or large shells pasta, cooked to al dente and drained

1. In a heavy pan melt the butter and add flour. Whisk and cook until slightly foamy and pale gold. Slowly add in the warmed milk and continue to whisk until incorporated. Add ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper and continue whisking until it comes together and barely starts to simmer.
2. Scoop out a few tablespoons at a time and whisk into the yolk. This is called “tempering.” You want to bring the temperature of the yolk up, so it doesn’t scramble in the sauce.
3. Once you’ve incorporated about a cup of the milk mixture into the yolk, pour it slowing back into the milk and cook about another 3 to 4 minutes whisking very well to incorporate it all. Add the nutmeg and taste for seasoning. You may need a little more salt and pepper. Take it off the heat and set aside.
4. While you are making the sauce, in another pan saute the onions with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Add in the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Remove to a large bowl.
5. Add the chopped greens to the onion pan, with a drizzle of oil and seasoning of salt and pepper and wilt slightly, about 1-2 minutes. Add that to the onions and cool slightly.
6. Add the squash to the onion-green mix and combine with the spatula. Add in the ricotta cheese, beaten eggs, thyme, ¾ cup of shredded cheese and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix well with your spatula.
7. In a baking dish or pan spread out 2 ½ cups of the sauce. Fill the manicotti or shells with the filling and place in the pan. Using a spoon for even coverage, top each with the remaining sauce and shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the foil and broil for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

Cooks note: To cook the squash, break into 4 pieces and remove the seeds. Season with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven until soft and tender. Cool slightly and scrape onto a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. A 5 pound blue hubbard squash will yield about 4 cups of puree. This will take about 40 minutes in total.

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About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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