Here's a creamy-dreamy weeknight-friendly kabocha squash pasta made from a few tasty and simple ingredients.
This vegetarian pasta is a vibrant and comforting meal and a brilliant way to camouflage veggies in your pasta sauce too!
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Oven roasted Kabocha squash meets fresh ricotta (or soy ricotta), parmesan cheese (or dairy-free parmesan), and thyme leaves melding into a creamy sauce that is perfect for tossing with your favorite pasta.
This one is a simple yet fulfilling kabocha squash pasta dish you can make with a few simple ingredients.
If you don't have Kabocha, you can easily replace it with another type of winter squash, such as butternut squash or delicata squash.
You can expect familiar flavors and a rich and creamy texture that make this pasta dish irresistible.
With its meaty orange flesh, kabocha squash is perfect to be turned into a creamy sauce.
You can substitute butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and most varieties of winter squash for kabocha squash.
Grated parmesan cheese balances the sweetness of the squash and adds umami and taste.
You can substitute a dairy-free parmesan alternative for parmesan.
Ricotta adds creaminess and softens the flavor of the squash. You can substitute our soy ricotta or heavy cream (or dairy-free heavy cream) for regular fresh ricotta.
We use bronze cut spaghetti. However, you can use any other pasta shape. We recommend tagliatelle, farfalle, rigatoni, and linguine and including gluten-free pasta.
Fresh thyme leaves are our herb of choice for this recipe. Their delicate aroma melds well with the Kabocha and ricotta. You can replace thyme with fresh parsley or basil.
Pistachio nuts are optional. Their flavor matches well that of the other ingredients in this kabocha squash pasta recipe; they add color and a nice crunch.
You can substitute walnuts, almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts for pistachios.
Salt and pepper
We use sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil helps us cook the squash in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the squash in half and scoop out its seeds.
Put it cut side down on a cutting board, then cut off the peel with a sharp knife.
Chop into chunks roughly the same size, transfer to the baking sheet and toss with olive oil, and salt.
Roast for 30 minutes until fork tender and slightly charred.
Transfer roasted kabocha squash to a food processor (or blender) and add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and water.
Blend until you have a smooth and creamy sauce, then transfer it to a large skillet.
You should get consistency between a squash puree and a soup.
Boil the pasta al dente as per package instructions in a large pot with plenty of salted boiling water.
Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce.
Stir and toss on in the squash mixture on medium heat for a minute, adding ½ to 1 cup of the reserved pasta water.
Transfer kabocha squash pasta onto a serving plate and sprinkle with pistachio nuts, thyme leaves, and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve this creamy kabocha squash pasta as an easy weeknight dinner with a quick green side dish such as:
- Simple side salad: fresh greens ready in 10 minutes!
- Roasted Brussels sprouts with a finger-licking good mustard dressing
- Cauliflower lentil salad with fresh herbs and cumin dressing
- Chickpea salad: no cooking is required for this crisp and wholesome salad
Serve for special occasions, such as winter holidays and Thanksgiving celebrations. Make it a menu by pairing it with these indulgent sides and desserts:
- Shaved Brussels sprouts salad
- Red cabbage slaw with candied walnuts
- Creamy cauliflower salad
- Slow-baked confit tomatoes
Pair it with a fall dessert made with seasonal fruits, such as:
Butternut squash pasta
You can make a similar pasta dish substituting butternut squash for the kabocha squash.
Check out our butternut squash pasta recipe.
It's best if you eat kabocha squash pasta straight after you make it. The sauce thickens up quickly, and if you have leftovers, you'll need to add quite a bit more water to make it creamy again.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24-36 hours.
More winter squash recipes
If you love cooking with winter squash, get some fresh inspiration from these weeknight-friendly dishes:
- Roasted butternut squash: the quickest way to enjoy tender wedges of butternut squash
- Risotto with butternut squash authentic Italian flavors in a creamy, dreamy risotto dish
- Creamy kabocha squash soup: easy-to-find ingredients in a vibrant soup
- Easy roasted kabocha squash, no peeling needed for this healthy vegetable side!
More pasta recipes
For more 30-minute pasta ideas, take a peek at these family-friendly pasta favorites:
- Easy mushroom pasta with flavor-packed vegetables and tagliatelle
- 20-minute broccoli pasta with a quick technique to make a super creamy sauce
- Cheesy cauliflower spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese
- Pasta Pomodoro (tomato and basil pasta): a quick and simple 20-minute meal
- Garlic and oil pasta with authentic Italian flavor and plenty of parsley
- Red pepper pasta made with a quick and no-fuss vegetable sauce
- Chickpea pasta salad: a handy and tasty pasta salad for meal-prepping
- Eggplant pasta (pasta alla norma) traditional Italian flavors with plenty of vegetables
Kabocha Squash Pasta
- Food processor or blender
- ¾ pound pasta we use spaghetti
FOR ROASTED KABOCHA
- ¾ pound kabocha squash peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
FOR THE SAUCE
- ⅔ cup ricotta cheese or our soy ricotta*
- 1 cup parmesan cheese or dairy-free parmesan**
- 1 cup water
- 2 twists black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 3 sprigs thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Cut the squash in half and scoop out its seeds.Put it cut side down on a cutting board, then cut off the peel with a sharp knife.
- Chop into chunks roughly the same size, transfer to the baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.Roast for 30 minutes until fork tender and slightly charred.
- Transfer roasted kabocha squash to a food processor and add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and water.
- Blend until you have a smooth and creamy sauce, then transfer it to a large skillet.You should get consistency between a squash puree and a soup.
- Boil the pasta al dente in a large pot with plenty of salted boiling water.Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce.Toss on medium heat for a minute, adding ½ to 1 cup of the reserved pasta water.
- Transfer kabocha squash pasta onto a serving plate and sprinkle with pistachio nuts, thyme leaves, and freshly ground black pepper.
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