I made this baked pasta dish to serve on Thanksgiving Eve. My Mother-in-Law asked that I post the recipe so that she could make it to serve to vegetarian guests. It was such a compliment! This post is quite belated- oops.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday Food. I used manicotti noodles instead of lasagna and modified the proportions. I boiled the squash in the salted pasta water but may roast it instead next time to enhance its flavor. It was cheesy, creamy, and rich comfort food.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
- 6 T olive oil, plus more for baking dish
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (8 oz each) packages manicotti (there will be leftover noodles)
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 large shallots, chopped
- 3/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus 16 to 20 whole leaves
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 (15 oz each) containers of whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking dish. (I used cooking oil spray.)
- In a large pot of boiling, generously salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Using tongs, transfer pasta to a rimmed baking sheet.
- Add squash to boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain squash and transfer to a bowl. (Alternatively, the squash can be roasted at 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast, until lightly browned and tender, about 25 to 35 minutes.)
- In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer sautéed shallots to the bowl with the squash and add 4 tablespoons milk, chopped sage, and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until a rough puree forms.
- Fill a gallon ziplock bag with the squash mixture. Cut an opening in one bottom corner of the bag, large enough to fit the opening of the manicotti noodles.
- Pipe the squash mixture into the manicotti noodles, about 1/4 cup each. Place each filled noodle into the prepared baking dish. (I had 8 cooked noodles leftover.)
- In a bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, and 1/2 cup milk and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread ricotta mixture over cannelloni and top with remaining 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan.
- Bake until warmed through, about 25 minutes.
- Broil until top is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium to medium-high. Fry whole sage leaves until crispy, 15 to 20 seconds. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve the casserole topped with fried sage.