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Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash & Ham

FOOD & WINE Wine Club Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash & Ham FOOD & WINE Wine Club Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash & Ham
Soft and creamy mascarpone cheese forms the base for a pasta sauce that’s deliciously rich and absolutely simple.
Servings: 4
Total Time:
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1¼ teaspoons dried sage
1 cup mascarpone cheese
½ cup half-and-half
3 scallions including green tops, chopped
¾ pound penne
¼ pound sliced smoked ham, such as Black Forest, cut into thin strips
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1. Heat the oven to 450°. Put the squash on a large baking sheet and toss with the oil, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, the pepper, and sage. Spread the squash out in a single layer. Roast, turning occasionally, until tender and starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the mascarpone, half-and-half, scallions, and the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne until just done, about 13 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water and drain. Return the pasta to the hot pan. Stir in the squash, mascarpone sauce, and ham. If the sauce seems too thick, add some of the reserved pasta-cooking water. Serve topped with the Parmesan.

VARIATIONS Instead of butternut squash, roast cubes of another winter squash, such as pumpkin or acorn squash—or try roasting cubed sweet potatoes.