Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta

December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

and here’s a post from our lovely guest-blogger, larina, who was kind enough to have your humble bloggers to her house for dinner.

she notes: I make it up every time, so there aren’t measurements or anything. Here is an approximate recipe:

~2 squshes of your choice or canned unsweetened squash (I have also made this with sweet potatoes or yams and it is excellent!)
lots of butter
whipping cream or half and half
fresh rosemary
store-bought alfredo and tomato pasta sauce
large log goat cheese
other cheeses desired: cream cheese (particularly good choice); asiago, gouda, chedder, parm, or a mixture thereof (I just use whatever I have in the fridge- as a variation I have also used a gorganzola sauce which is good but you have to know your audience – goat cheese is more popular)
box manicotti or jumbo shells
sauteed vegetables of your choice.

acorn, butternut, or pumpkin. You can get canned unsweetened squash and that is all right, otherwise get ~2 squashes of whatever you choose, cut it in half, remove the seeds and stick it in the oven at about 350 degrees for about an hour or until soft. Put a little butter & water in the roasting pan and roast it with the cut side facing down. Then scoop out the innards.

Put the innards or the canned squash in a blender or in a mixing bowl, whatever is easier. Whip with a bunch of butter (I am not sure how much but I am always generous with the butter) and salt to taste. Maybe pour in a little cream. I don’t usually spice but you can add a little sage, garlic and/or thyme to taste if you like.

boil manicotti or jumbo stuffing shells in salted water al dente. put the squash inside them while they are still warm and place in a baking pan after they are stuffed. If I do manicotti, I do it the lazy way and tear along one side so I don’t have to try to pour the filling into one end. It is cheating but it makes life better.

For the sauce, you can put in whatever veggies you would like- sauteed onions, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, canned artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, whole kernel corn – whatever you have around. I pre-saute the veggies. then I add about a half stick of butter, some cream or milk, whichever i have (you can add more cream or milk until the sauce has the consistency you want, so start small and add as you go) and cheese. I use maybe 3/4 of a large stick of fresh chevre goat cheese, or you can do cream cheese instead or a goat cheese/cream cheese combo. Then add ~1/2 c of another kind of cheese – asiago? Gouda? Cheddar? whatever mix you’d like. Sometimes if I have any I throw in some store-bought alfredo or tomato pasta sauce. You can also just use some store-bought alfredo sauce and melt some goat cheese into it (this is the simplest option).

It is best if you already have some sauce and pour it into the bottom of the baking pan before you put the filled pasta into it because this will keep the pasta from sticking or burning to the bottom.

Pour your sauce over and around the filled pasta. Stick some full fresh rosemary branches into the sauce in between the pasta. cover the whole dish with motz. cover pan with foil so the motz doesn’t get brown before the dish is baked through. bake at 350 for ~25 mins, then take off the foil. bake ~15 minutes longer until the sauce is bubbling and the motz is browning. remove from the oven and serve!

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