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Rigatoni with Butternut Squash Ragu

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or other mushroom of choice)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can butternut squash puree
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ⅓ cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 10 ounces rigatoni pasta


Procedures:

In a large pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add butternut squash and season with a crack of salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes for even browning. Remove squash from pan and set aside.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan. Scrape up any bits of squash with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Add onion and cook 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add mushrooms to pan and cook until they begin to release their juices, 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, squash puree, tomato paste, stock and spices. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce is cooking, boil pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve pasta water.

Stir in cheese and parsley. Add cubed squash back into pan and stir. If ragu is thick, add pasta water ¼ cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Combine pasta with sauce and serve.

by Ashley Cuoco

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