I'm writing this as I wait for a late surgery to finish - can you tell I'm hungry? Just wanted to share this recipe with you - it's an ultra simple recipe that is essentially a healthier version of mac and cheese (special thanks to my friend J for the inspiration behind this recipe!) Really, it's harder to pare this down more - all you need is 1 large pot and a large mixing bowl.
If you want this to be really easy, use pre-cut, cubed butternut squash (usually available pre-packaged at most grocery stores).
Butternut Squash & Ricotta Pasta
20 oz pre-cut butternut squash
1 cup ricotta cheese (I used part skim ricotta, but if you want this to be more indulgent, feel free to substitute full fat ricotta)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups whole wheat penne pasta
1. Bring a large salted pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook squash until tender (pierce with a fork). Remove squash from pot with a slotted spoon
2. Add pasta to still-boiling water (major laziness points here). Cook until al dente. Add more water if necessary to cook the pasta
3. While pasta cooks, mash the squash and add in ricotta, salt, and pepper to taste
4. Once pasta is cooked, top with the ricotta-squash mixture and sprinkle with thyme - then dig in!
Yes, I was really so lazy that I cooked my pasta in the same water I used for the squash - but you know what? It actually gave the pasta an ever-so-slightly sweet flavor which was delicious! Speaking of which, since butternut squash plays equally well in sweet vs. savory recipes, you could take this pasta dish in a couple of different directions. I went more savory with the thyme, but I could see the addition of some cinnamon, honey, and a light dusting of parmesan being equally delicious. Let me know if you try this out, especially if you experiment a little bit!
I'm still waiting....my stomach is grumbling...better close this window before I lick the computer screen.