Ziti with Winter Squash and Roasted Garlic

 This recipe has been known to win over even the staunchest of  winter squash haters.  It’s one of our favorite fall and winter recipes.

1 butternut or acorn squash (or any other winter squash)
6 tablespoons olive oil
15 large garlic cloves, peeled (they get roasted, so it’s not too strong a flavor)
1 pound dried ziti or penne
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 375′. Cut the squash in half and place the halves on a baking sheet, cut side down. Bake the squash for 1 hour or until the flesh is soft. Let the squash cool, spoon out the seeds, and then spoon out the flesh into the skillet in step 4.

2. About 1/2 hour after the squash has begun baking, roast the garlic: Toss together the oil and the garlic, and place them in an oven-proof dish. Bake the garlic, uncovered, alongside the squash for about 30 minutes or until the garlic is lightly golden.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta until it is just tender. Drain it, reserving 3/4 cup of the drained water.

4. While the pasta cooks, pour the roasted garlic with its oil into a large skillet. Add the wine and the reserved pasta water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for about 2 minutes. Add the spooned out squash flesh, and boil the sauce 3 minutes more. Take the skillet off the heat.

5. Add the ziti to the sauce, and stir well. Add the salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, and toss. Divide the pasta among plates, sprinkle the walnuts over, and serve along with the additional Parmesan.

– from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons


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