When the weather gets cold, days get short, and the winter winds howl, I am all about comfort foods. Unfortunately, rich, creamy, cheesy foods aren’t so great for one’s waistline, and frankly, sometimes my family gets tired of the same old winter fare. I actually came up with this recipe to use a couple of heads of garlic I had on hand, and it is so delicious, I’ve made several variations and it’s part of our regular mealtime rotation at my house. What’s even better is that it just couldn’t be easier.
You will need:
about 3 heads of garlic
pasta of your choice- I like elbow macaroni or spirals, something that is going to catch the gooey goodness
First, heat your oven to 400*, and cut the tops off of the heads of garlic, place them on a square of foil, drizzle with a bit of oil and scrunch it up like a little present. Pop it in the oven for about 50 minutes until the garlic is nice and golden brown. The golden color indicates caramelization, which renders the garlic incredibly sweet and delicious. At the same time, cut your squashes in half, scoop out the seeds and place them cut side down on a roasting tray. Roast them til tender, which will vary depending on the size of the squash.
Let the garlic rest until its cool enough to handle. It will be quite soft. Gently squeeze all of the garlicy goodness into a bowl, being careful to not get the papery jacket into the part you intend to eat (it’s edible, but has the texture of, well, paper). While the garlic is resting, you’ll want to put your water on to boil and cook your pasta til its to your desired level of doneness.
You’ll now have a bowl full of one of the most delicious substances on earth- show some restraint and don’t eat it with a spoon. It is, however, quite delicious spread on crusty bread, but that’s a story for another time. You will also have some nice roasted squash. Mash up the roasted garlic with a fork, add about a tablespoon of butter, and mash it til you have a nice smooth paste. Remove the skin from the squash, and mash it in with the garlic and butter. Again, it may take some restraint on your part to not just eat this the way it is.
Once your pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot with a couple of tablespoons of butter. You need a good deal of butter in this dish to make it nice and creamy and to aid the squash and garlic in incorporating with the pasta. Add the Squash/butter/garlic mixture and gently but thoroughly mix. Once it’s evenly incorporated, add about 1/4-1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese, and again mix thoroughly. Its now ready to eat!! You can serve it as a standalone entree, or you can serve it as a side dish, but I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious it is! Enjoy!