Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake

Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake

This elegant Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake will take center stage at your next family gathering or celebratory meal. A comforting and eye pleasing pasta dish made with oven roasted butternut squash, baby arugula and a creamy cheese sauce with a hint of rosemary.

Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake

We celebrated hubby’s birthday last weekend and I say weekend because Saturday was reserved for chocolate profiterole cake…yum… and Sunday, this stunning Butternut Squash and Paccheri pasta cake!

This was a special request from hubby after returning home one evening with the latest “Bon Appétit” magazine featuring a baked pasta dish made with peas and mint and largely resembling a cake.

I’ve made a few changes to the recipe mainly by replacing the peas with some seasonal and sweet oven roasted butternut squash which I then tossed with the cooked pasta. I also substituted the mint with some chopped rosemary however sage would work wonderfully as well.

Since I couldn’t come across Fontina cheese in my area, I replaced it with freshly grated Asiago cheese, a cow’s milk cheese which melted beautifully in the silky smooth sauce. The aromas where simply wonderful!

Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake

I was almost tempted to line my springform pan with parchment paper for easier release of the pasta cake but I’m so glad I didn’t because buttering the pan and then sprinkling it all around with Parmesan cheese will give you that beautiful crusty exterior we all love so much.

There won’t be any fighting for the crusty end pieces with this dish for sure!

You’ll also want to save some roasted butternut squash for garnishing the pasta cake!

Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake

So, if you have a birthday coming up soon and you LOVE pasta then this Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake is definitely for you!

Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake

But why wait for your birthday! Make it this weekend, take a photo and tag @marisasitaliankitchen on Instagram so I can see your creation!

Happy cooking!

Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake
 
This elegant Butternut Squash Paccheri Pasta Bake will take center stage at your next family gathering celebrations. Its creamy, cheesy and so easy to make.
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups diced butternut squash
  • olive oil for drizzling over butternut squash
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter plus more for greasing the pan
  • ⅓ cup plus 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • fine sea salt or kosher salt (to your taste)
  • freshly ground pepper (to your taste)
  • 500 grams paccheri pasta or rigatoni
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the chopped butternut squash on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. Set the cooked butternut squash aside while continuing with the rest of the recipe.
  5. Butter a 9 inch springform pan with softened butter.
  6. Sprinkle the pan all over with ⅓ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  7. In a large saucepan, melt ¼ of the butter over medium heat.
  8. Add the all purpose flour to the melted butter and cook while whisking for 2 minutes.
  9. Slowly whisk in the milk.
  10. Reduce the heat slightly and let he sauce simmer while whisking often, until the sauce has thickened, for about 20 minutes.
  11. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the Asiago cheese and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
  12. Whisk in the lightly beaten egg and season with salt and pepper.
  13. Cover the saucepan and keep warm.
  14. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  15. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta just until al dente or firm to the bite.
  16. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl.
  17. Add the cooked butternut squash, arugula, parsley and rosemary to the pasta bowl.
  18. Stir in the cheese sauce until well combined.
  19. Transfer half of the pasta mixture to the prepared springform pan.
  20. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and lemon zest then spoon half over the pasta.
  21. Transfer the remaining pasta into the pan and spoon the remaining ricotta mixture over the pasta.
  22. Sprinkle with ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  23. Let the baked pasta rest for about ½ hour before releasing from the pan.
  24. Cut into wedges and serve.

 

22 Comments

  1. Wow, that looks so delicious!

  2. This looks stunning Marissa, what is arugula? And can you substitute asiago cheese as I have never seen this in France.

    • Hi Linda, you might be more familiar with Roquette in France. They are little peppery green leaves often used in salads but the baby arugula is milder in peppery taste. You can substitute Asiago cheese with fontina cheese. Or try the more common variety like Romano cheese. It’s an elegant pasta dish full of flavour you’ll love it! Thanks for dropping by!

      • Ah yes roquette, difficult to get out of season here. I’m not sure that I can get any of those cheeses…..is it a hard cheese? could I use something like comte?
        I have my squash ready to go.
        Sorry I am so out of the loop Marisa, I have been so busy and hardly put any posts up – I am going to try and put a Butternut Squash recipe up today or tomorrow xx

  3. Oh my! That looks so fantastic. Butternut squash is a fall staple in my kitchen and I’m always thinking of new ways to use it.

  4. I’ve never seen a pasta bake like this before! Those flavours sound delish too – I’ve pinned this for later!

  5. I saw this on your Instagram the other day and was drooling. It looks sooo delicious 😋

  6. What a work of art, Marisa! And wonderful substitutions.

  7. I wish I was invited to your hubby’s birthday weekend dinners! Happy belated birthday, by the way! I LOVE profiterole cake (I always get that one when celebrating my birthday in Italy) and I LOVE this pasta bake. The flavors are incredible, butternut squash, rosemary, Asiago, ricotta, arugula. Plus, in that beautiful shape, with the crispy edges, wow!

    • How wonderful indeed it would be if you lived close enough to join us…we could have made a party out of both your beet gnocchi and this butternut squash paccheri😉 I’m sure it would have been a blast!

  8. I’ve had pasta with butternut squash before but never like this! What a wonderful combination of flavors and the presentation is incredible, perfect for a celebration.

    • What other way to celebrate for pasta lovers, right? It’s so worth the few extra steps to put together and it sure makes everyone feel extra special! Thanks for dropping by Nadia!

  9. We have never made anything remotely close to this but so eager to try! Not sure if you saw on my instastories, but I picked my very last harvest of arugula yesterday and I surely am not in the mood for a salad!

    • Oh how I wish I had a handful of garden grown arugula…they’re they best! Hope you get to try this pasta bake…heading over to view your instastory😊

  10. Asiago cheese is slightly less hard then Parmesan but then again it depends on how long it’s aged. I’m not familiar with Comte cheese although here in Quebec it’s quite popular but I would say if it melts into a creamy sauce then do try it. You might also be familiar with fondue cheeses such as gruyere which should work as well or simply opt for a béchamel sauce. Enjoy Linda and I’m looking forward to your butternut squash recipe! xx