Creamy Squash Rigatoni


In honor of this blog’s four-year anniversary week, I decided I’d highlight some favorite recipes from the archives. You see, when we first got the blog going, we knew nothing about food photography. As a result, there are these total gems from the past that just sit there getting dusty in the archives, all because their lead photos aren’t up to to snuff anymore, now that the internet food world is so, well, sophisticated. Now that yellow-y glop doesn’t pass muster on a Pinterest board.

If you’ve hung around here a while, you might know BGSK’s creation myth. A burst of inspiration following Thanksgiving led to this, our first post, about a party Phoebe and I had thrown for our best friend, Jordana. A lot has  changed since then, not least the internet’s aesthetic. I hadn’t met Alex, let alone married him, I was a vegetarian, and I’d lived in Brooklyn for all of a month. And I was very fond of sautéing lots of garlic in butter, and then turning that fragrant base into a pasta sauce.

This warm, nourishing bowl of squash and pasta was first published in October 2009, a year into our blogging adventure. I’m not sure I’ve made the dish since then, but I’ve craved it often. It’s formerly known as Inside-Out Ravioli Pasta (a mouthful!), which I even hesitate to link to, because man did I have some lighting and framing issues back then. I apparently had blog formatting issues too. Still, the recipe is a gem.

Damn, could I fashion a delicata squash, a handful of tube pasta, and some milk into a delightful pasta dish in just over half an hour! That I could do then! Now, I followed my old recipe almost exactly to the letter, adding in a couple clarifying directions but that’s it. 


Creamy Squash Rigatoni
Serves 2

This recipe makes a pretty rich plate of pasta. There will be a moment when you think the sauce won’t come together, but just let the liquids reduce, and you’ll see everything thicken and become saucelike. Add the reserved cooking water a little at a time, so the sauce never gets too thin to coat the pasta.

1 medium delicata squash (about 12 ounces)
2 teaspoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch cayenne
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons cream
6 ounces rigatoni – slightly less than half a box
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Freshly ground pepper

Bring about an inch of water to the boil in a large stockpot. Cut the squash into large wedges and remove the seeds. Arrange in a steamer basket. Steam for 8-12 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove the steamer basket and let the squash cool so you can handle it. Remove the flesh from the skin into a small bowl, then mash it well with a spoon.

Meanwhile, fill up the pot with water for pasta and start it boiling.

In a medium frying pan, melt the butter over very low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 8 minutes. (Don’t raise the heat and try to rush this.) You’ll want to push both butter and garlic all the way to one side of the pot, since there’s not that much of either. Add the cayenne, nutmeg, and salt and stir.

Now carefully add the milk, cream, and mashed squash to the pan, stirring to smooth. Raise the heat slightly, so the sauce simmers. Simmer over medium heat until reduced, about 12 minutes.

When you reach this point, you can add your pasta to the boiling water, so it’ll be ready at the same time as the sauce.

When the sauce is reduced and the pasta done, reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water, and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the simmering sauce, spooning in reserved water if necessary. Season with pepper and more salt to taste, then add half the Parm and mix in. Divide between two bowls, sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan, and serve.

Posted in: Single Serving
  • Daniel Choi

    Oh man, this is such a warm post. This would be great for the cold winters ahead

    • BGSK

      You are so right. And it comes together pretty quickly, once you’re out of the cold and in the warm kitchen.

  • Cassie | Bake Your Day

    This is fabulous. I love the nutmeg!

  • erin

    this sounds amazing! i’m coming up on a four year anniversary over on my tea leaves, and i completely appreciate the humbling experience of reviewing past posts. so glad you livened this one up for a second go-round. will make. tonight.

    • BGSK

      yes! let me know what you think. now I’m tempted to go immerse myself in the archives of reading my tea leaves.

  • tom@morethanpepper

    love the blog title

  • Alessandra

    I love pasta with pumpkin sauce, one of my favourite (and rigatoni is among my favourite pasta too) so thumbs up for this one :-)


  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This is absolutely stunning! Love this flavour combo :)

    • BGSK

      Thank you, Katrina!

  • Arthur in the Garden!
  • Brian Samuels

    What am I supposed to do with you here… this looks too good.

  • Jana

    just made it….delicious!! i added some spinach to the sauce just because i had to use it. anyway, keep up the good work! 😉

    • BGSK

      Great idea to add a little green!

  • winterfood

    So Good. I am curious about using skim milk and heavy cream. Why not use whole milk or half and half? What’s the advantage/difference?

    • BGSK

      I tend to keep two-percent milk at home, so that’s why I specify low-fat milk. You could definitely use whole milk, if that’s what you have around (and skip the cream if you don’t have any). But I think all cream or all half and half would be too rich for this type of dish…

  • fauxpasta

    This looks delicious. Any reason for the delicata squash? Is it easier to peel away from the squash innards once it’s been cooked?

  • Chinemenma

    I bought all the ingredients for this sans the cream. I’ll just deal with milk and butter :) Delicata squash has been sitting on my counter waiting to be added to a recipe. I think this is it <3

  • Hannah

    Eating this now and it’s so good! I had acorn squash and fusilli pasta on hand and they worked perfect. I left out the cream since I didn’t have any and it’s fine without. Very easy and hard to mess up. Found this from – I’ll definitely make again :)

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