5 from 18 votes
Overhead photo of Butternut Squash Pasta topped with whipped ricotta and crispy sage leaves in a white serving bowl with a tan napkin and ramekins of walnuts and grated parmesan off to the side of the bowl.
Butternut Squash Pasta with Ricotta
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Silky bucatini pasta tossed with caramelized cubes of butternut squash and a rich, nutty brown butter sauce; topped with creamy ricotta, crunchy walnuts and crisp fried sage leaves. This pasta is easy, comforting and ultimately delicious! 

Course: entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: brown butter, butternut squash, pasta, ricotta, sage
Servings: 4
Calories: 762 kcal
  • 12 ounces Pasta (Bucatini, Spaghetti or Linguine)
  • ½ Cup Unsalted Butter - DIVIDED (1 stick)
  • 1 large Butternut Squash (about 2 pound) – peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds discarded & cubed (1’’) (about 4 cups cubed squash)
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Ground Ginger, Nutmeg & Cumin
  • Pinch Cayenne
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – smashed and peeled
  • 8-12 large Sage Leaves
  • 1 Cup Whole-Milk Ricotta (Optional: Whip ricotta until smooth in a food processor)
  • ½ Cup Toasted Walnuts – coarsely chopped
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper - to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan - freshly grated, plus more for garnish
Optional for garnish: Fresh Thyme and/or Fresh Parsley - chopped
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Let pasta cool for 3 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, cook squash: In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the squash, ginger, nutmeg, cumin, cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally at first and then more often as the squash browns, until the squash is browned and tender, about 12-15 minutes. Transfer the squash to a clean plate and set aside.

  3. Make the brown butter sauce: In the same skillet, add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter. Add the smashed garlic and melt the butter, swirling pan until butter turns light brown, about 2 minutes. Add sage leaves and fry until crispy, about 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the sage leaves to paper towels to drain. Discard garlic.

  4. Finish the pasta: Reduce heat to medium-low. Slowly add in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Whisk until combined. Remove pan from heat and add the pasta. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss until the pasta is well coated. Add the parmesan cheese and toss well to combine. Add the butternut squash and very gently toss to combine. Add more cooking liquid to create a light, silky sauce if pasta looks dry. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

  5. Serve warm: Divide the pasta between serving plates. Top with a dollop of ricotta, walnuts, crispy sage leaves and more parmesan. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes
  1. Butternut Squash Hack: To easily peel butternut squash, use a fork to pierce shallow holes all around the squash and then microwave it for 45 seconds to 2 minutes. Let cool and then proceed to peel it. Microwaving the squash softens the skin and makes it’s a cinch to peel!
  2. When boiling the pasta, make sure your water is generously salted. We are talking, as salty as the ocean. Cook the pasta until just AL DENTE and make sure you reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. You probably won't use the entire cup of reserved liquid in the sauce, but it is better to err on the safe side.
  3. Make sure you use fresh grated parmesan for this recipe.  Pre-grated cheese will not seamlessly melt into the sauce.

Nutritional information is an approximation and based upon 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Butternut Squash Pasta with Ricotta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 762 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Cholesterol 101mg34%
Sodium 268mg12%
Potassium 926mg26%
Carbohydrates 88g29%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 21012IU420%
Vitamin C 40mg48%
Calcium 396mg40%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.