Roasted Acorn Squash Pasta, with plenty of roasted garlic, gets a healthy creamy texture from the squash. Delicious vegetarian recipe to serve in the fall and winter! Adapted from a recipe in the cookbook Vegetarian Planet.
1 head of garlic (and a bit extra if you like — see notes)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
12 ozs ziti or penne pasta
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cooking water from the pasta (you may not need it all)
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for serving
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup silken tofu (optional)
Prep the squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half, and lay them flesh side up. Scoop out the seeds — I like to use an ice cream scooper. Sprinkle 1 tsp of the oil over the squash flesh. Place the squash flesh side down on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
Prep the garlic: Cut the root end off the head of garlic, exposing the bottom of the garlic cloves. Drizzle exposed cloves with 1 tsp of the olive oil. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil, place on the baking sheet next to the squash in the oven.
Roast the squash and garlic: The squash and the garlic will both take about 40 minutes to roast. After 40 minutes, remove the baking sheet to check for doneness. The squash is done when the skin pierces easily with a fork. If it does, turn the squash over — when roasted the flesh should be soft and beginning to brown. The garlic is done when the cloves have become quite soft and beginning to brown. If they are done, remove the squash and garlic and set aside to cool; or return to roast for another 5 minutes or so as needed.
Start the water for pasta: Start boiling a large pot of water for cooking the pasta with about 10 minutes roasting time left. Add the pasta after you’ve started cooking the sauce on the stovetop.
Start making the sauce: Place the white wine and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or medium sauce pan (see notes). Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin and into the sauce pan. Heat the garlic on medium, then add the roasted squash flesh, and the tofu if you are using it. Stir to combine, and cook on medium low. Stir every few minutes.
Cook pasta: Add the pasta to the boiling water after adding the squash to the sauce pan. Cook according to package directions as you finish the sauce.
Finish the sauce: Add the milk to the sauce, stir to combine. After the pasta has been cooking for at least 5 minutes, scoop out 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water. Pour some of the pasta water into the sauce, stir to combine. Add up to 1/2 cup of the cooking water to the sauce to achieve desired consistency. This is a fairly thick sauce but you want it to have enough liquid to combine well with the pasta. Keep the sauce warm as the pasta finishes cooking.
Finish the dish: When the pasta is cooked, drain, and toss immediately with the acorn squash sauce. Add the cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and parsley. Plate the pasta, and pass additional cheese at the table. Enjoy!
Use a good sized chopping knife to cut the acorn squash in half.
I like to use an ice cream scooper to remove the squash seeds (Amazon affiliate link used for the kind we have).
1 whole head of garlic would be enough to roast for the acorn squash pasta, but if you are big garlic fans you might add a few extra cloves with their skins on along with the whole head of garlic that you have roasted.
You could use a large skillet or medium sauce pan here. But I went for my Copper Chef Pan which is very convenient and easy to clean. (Amazon link provided)
I used the silken tofu as I had some on hand for something else. Most recently I made it without it and the texture comes out fine. So it is definitely more of an optional ingredient.
Keywords: roasted acorn squash, acorn squash pasta, vegetarian pasta recipes