Butternut Squash, Sage, & Ricotta Manicotti

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
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking dish. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  3. In a large pot of boiling, generously salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Using tongs, transfer pasta to a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. 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.)
  5. In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.)
  9. In a bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, and 1/2 cup milk and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Spread ricotta mixture over cannelloni and top with remaining 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan.
  11. Bake until warmed through, about 25 minutes.
  12. Broil until top is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  13. 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.
  14. Serve the casserole topped with fried sage.

Grilled Pork Chops with Fried-Sage Salsa Verde and Sage Potatoes

IMG_9559

I am such a sauce person- this dish was super saucy! Sauce on the pork chops with sauce on the side. 🙂 The recipe was adapted from a “staff-favorite” Food and Wine dish. I adapted the recipe by decreasing the olive oil and by incorporating the leftover sage-grapeseed oil into mashed potatoes with grilled scallions. This was a wonderful dish to make with my giant herb garden sage and parsley plants too. Very flavorful and tasty.

  • Grapeseed oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup sage leaves
  • 1 medium-large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 10 T cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery heart with leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • six 3/4-pound boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 pounds gold potatoes
  • 6-8 scallions, grilled
  • milk, to taste
  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 inch of grapeseed oil until shimmering. Add the sage and fry over moderate heat, stirring, until the sizzling stops and the leaves are crisp, 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. In a mini food processor, mince the shallot. Add the vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, celery, capers and thyme and pulse to mince; season with salt and pepper. Pulse in the olive oil.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash.
  4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the pork chops with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 135°, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the chops to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Lightly brush the scallions with olive oil. Grill until tender. Coarsely slice.
  6. Stir the fried sage leaves into the salsa verde and serve with the pork chops.
  7. Stir the sage-grapeseed oil into the mashed potatoes, small amounts at a time, with milk, to taste, to achieve desired texture. Stir in the chopped grilled scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

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