A boozy and creamy way to eat butternut squash is always a win for me. Whipped ricotta is typically used on toast, but I love dolloping some on the plate to nestle the pasta. Top it off with some crispy prosciutto, basil, and more parmesan for a delightful and filling meal!
Butternut Squash alla Vodka
- large pot
- 12 oz Spaghetti or other long pasta
- ⅔ cup Pecorino Romano
- ¾ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 Butternut Squash, medium to large
- 4-5 slices Prosciutto
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- ¼ cup Vodka
- 2 Shallots
- Black pepper
- Kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Peel, gut the insides, and cut the butternut squash into cubes.
- Cut the shallots to the butternut squash relative sizes. and add 2 cloves of garlic. Drizzle olive oil, around 2 tablespoons, and a good pinch of salt, about 1 teaspoon, and cracked black pepper, about ⅛ of a teaspoon. Toss on the sheet pan.
- Cook in the middle rack for 10 minutes. Remove and toss, and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil and add about ¼ cup of salt. Add the pasta of choice, give it a stir, and cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, grade the cheeses! I Use a blender to get it to powder form.
- Remove the roasted squash along with its juices, and puree into a food processor. Add half of the cheese, and puree again until smooth.
- With a paper towel, wipe the sheet pan that the butternut squash was roasted in, and lay out the prosciutto, and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes until crispy.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the butternut squash puree along with the tomato paste and vodka. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the vodka has evaporated.
- Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, and drain the pasta. In a large bowl, add the butternut squash, Add ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water along with a half of the cheese, and toss. Add more of the pasta water if it's too dry.
- OPTIONAL WHIPPED RICOTTA: In a food processor, whip the ricotta until it's fluffy and creamy. Add a spoonful to the bottom of a serving bowl, and smear it to create a creamy bed for the pasta.
- To finish, sprinkle more cheese, tear some basil leaves, and crack the crispy prosciutto on top along with a little more crack pepper. Enjoy!