Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Baked Pasta with Pumpkin,
Mushrooms and Mascarpone

Serves 6



1-1/2 lb pumpkin (or butternut squash)
   peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" dice
   (should be about 4 cups)
2 tbsp olive oil
4-1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
2 cups mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 lb mixed mushrooms (variety your preference)
1 lb pasta (I prefer rigatoni,
   but any pasta shape will work)
1 cup grated provolone cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp sage, chopped



Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss pumpkin with olive oil in a large bowl to coat. Transfer pumpkin to baking sheet. Bake until pumpkin is tender and beginning to brown, stirring once, about 30 minutes.

Transfer pumpkin to food processor. Add 2-1/2 cups chicken stock. purée until smooth. Add mascarpone cheese, cinnamon, and 1 cup grated Romano cheese. Process to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add remaining chicken stock. Boil until stock is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Stir in pumpkin mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, taking about 5 minutes off of the cooking time as directed on package. Drain well. Return to pot and toss with sauce. Combine well.

Spray a large baking pan well with cooking spray. Add half of pasta mixture. Cover with half of remaining Romano, half of Provolone, and half of herbs. Add remaining pasta, remaining cheeses and herbs. Cover with foil.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove cover and top with remaining, Romano, provolone and herbs. Bake until cheese is melted, and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes to set before serving.

You can make this dish the day before, cover well and refrigerate, or you can freeze it, covered with both plastic wrap and foil. To bake, remove plastic wrap and re-wrap with foil. Bake in a low oven (300 degrees) until a knife is inserted easily. Then bake as above.


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This page created January 2000