Spicy Squash Pasta
When preparing the pasta, roast the pumpkin or squash to preserve the depth of flavor of the autumn vegetable.
- 2 pounds autumn squash, such as sugar pumpkin, calabaza, or butternut
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon thinly sliced fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 pound perciatelli or bucatini
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus leaves for garnish
- 3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- Finely grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If using pumpkin or calabaza, cut into wedges; if using butternut squash, cut in half. Remove seeds; reserve for another use. Drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes. Flip squash; bake until very tender, 40 to 50 minutes more. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Scoop flesh into a medium bowl; discard skins.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, a large pinch of salt, red pepper flakes, and 3/4 teaspoon each thyme, sage, and rosemary. Cook, stirring, until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add squash; cook, stirring and mashing with a spoon, until heated through.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Add pasta; cook until al dente. Drain well. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cooked pasta, parsley, and remaining thyme, sage, and rosemary. Season with salt. Toss to combine; cook until heated through.
Divide pasta evenly among serving bowls. Top with squash mixture and ricotta, dividing evenly. Garnish with parsley; drizzle with oil. Serve with Parmesan.