A while back the Mister and I ate at this really great Italian restaurant that serves a butternut squash ravioli. I love butternut squash and couldn’t resist ordering it. It was love at first bite! So good! I was craving more even before we got back home so I decided right then I had to try my own version. This recipe was an experiment and I really want to try it again with a few changes, but it turned out well enough that I wanted to share it.
What you will need:
2 Large Butternut Squash
1 Packaged Manicotti Noodles
1 Stick Butter
1-2 Pinch Fresh Basil
Cut both butternut squash in half length wise and remove seeds. Place face up, skin down, on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for about an hour, or until the squash is fork tender. Remove from oven, let cool then scoop out flesh in to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Remove from blender and set aside.
In blender, blend butter and fresh basil until smooth. (It will help if you melt the butter a bit first.)
Cook manicotti according to package directions, drain, and let cool enough to be handled.
Here is the messy part! Fill the cooked manicotti with the now smooth butternut squash. I used a zip-lock bag for this part. Fill the bag with butternut squash and cut off one bottom corner of the bag. Individually pipe the butternut squash into the center of each noodle. As you finish filling each noodle, place it on a baking sheet making neat rows. You may find, like I did, that your noodles will split during this process. If that happens it’s okay! Just pipe in the squash as best you can and place the split side down on the baking sheet. Once it’s all together and in the oven no one will be able to tell:)
Spread any remaining squash on top of your noodle rows. Next spread the butter-basil mixture on top. Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese. Cover the baking sheet with foil.
Bake at 350° for about 20min. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 10-15min, just until the cheese starts to get melty and good. Remove from oven and serve hot! So yum!