I always know that it is truly autumn when I start seeing a lot of squash recipes in magazines. I found this tasty recipe by Rachel Ray in People magazine. If you're a vegetarian looking for a showcase main entrée, look no further! These four cheese butternut squash make a lovely presentation for entertaining or holiday events. They are a bit involved, but so worth the effort! They are that delicious! Everything tastes better with cheese - right?
"To tell if the squash is cooked through, gently pierce the meat of the squash with a pairing knife," says Rachel Ray. "It should slide in easily with no resistance."
Make sure you check that the squash is cooked all the way through. Mine took an extra 20 minutes to cook.
You can also adjust the cheeses to your taste. I'm not a big fan of pecorino cheese, so I put in about 1 ounce pecorino and added more Parmigiano-Reggiano.
If you feel that the squash shell is not sturdy enough, tie it with string like I did.
If you prefer not to put the squash mixture into shells, put the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake accordingly.
Preparation time is 35 minutes. Total time is 1 hour, 20 minutes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.
1 head of garlic
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 (2 1/2 pound) butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon grated lemon or orange zest
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
4 ounces pecorino cheese, grated, divided
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated, divided
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut 1/3 inch off the pointed end of the garlic bulb; place on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Fold the foil to seal. Brush the cut sides of the squash with the remaining oil; sprinkle evenly with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Place the squash and garlic packet on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until squash is tender, 35 to 40 minutes; continue baking the garlic 5 more minutes. Cool the squash 30 minutes.
Squeeze the garlic from the skins into a small bowl; using the back of a fork, mash to make a paste. Scrape out squash pulp into a large bowl, leaving about an 1/4 inch shell rim intact. Add the garlic paste, ricotta, thyme, zest, and 3/4 cup each of the other cheeses, and mash together until well combined. Spoon the squash mixture into the shells; sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheeses. Bake until browned and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 4.
(edited by Anna Weicht)