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Creamy‌ ‌butternut‌ ‌squash‌ ‌and‌ ‌mascarpone‌ ‌orecchiette‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌rich‌ ‌and‌ ‌luxurious‌ ‌meal‌ ‌made‌ ‌with‌ ‌‌ ‌heavy‌ ‌cream,‌ ‌mascarpone‌ ‌cheese,‌ ‌butter,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Parmesan‌ ‌cheese ‌is‌ ‌best‌ ‌served‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌side‌ ‌dish‌ ‌rather‌ ‌than‌ ‌the ‌main‌ ‌course.‌ ‌ 

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‌What‌ ‌is‌ ‌Orecchiette?‌ 

Orecchiette‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌unique‌ ‌sort‌ ‌of‌ ‌pasta‌ ‌that‌ ‌is‌ ‌concave‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌middle‌ ‌and‌ ‌thinner‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌edges,‌ ‌giving‌ ‌it‌ ‌a‌ ‌unique‌ ‌feel.‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌also‌ ‌excellent‌ ‌for‌ ‌thicker‌ ‌sauces.‌ ‌The‌ ‌name‌ ‌derives‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌Italian‌ ‌area‌ ‌of‌ ‌Apulia,‌ ‌which‌ ‌is‌ ‌located‌ ‌at ‌the‌ ‌heel‌ ‌of‌ ‌Italy’s‌ ‌boot.‌

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What‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌difference‌ ‌between‌ ‌mascarpone‌ ‌and‌ ‌creme‌ ‌fraiche?‌

The‌ ‌thick,‌ ‌creamy‌ ‌consistency‌ ‌of‌ ‌mascarpone‌ ‌and‌ ‌crème‌ ‌fraiche,‌ ‌a‌ ‌French‌ ‌cultured‌ ‌cream,‌ ‌is‌ ‌similar.‌ ‌Crème‌ ‌fraiche,‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌other‌ ‌hand,‌ ‌is‌ ‌more‌ ‌acidic‌ ‌and‌ ‌has‌ ‌30%‌ ‌fat‌ ‌(as‌ ‌opposed‌ ‌to‌ ‌60‌ ‌to‌ ‌75‌ ‌percent‌ ‌fat‌ ‌in‌ ‌mascarpone),‌ ‌resulting‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌lighter,‌ ‌thinner‌ ‌cream.‌ ‌

What‌ ‌does‌ ‌butternut‌ ‌squash‌ ‌taste‌ ‌like?‌

Butternut‌ ‌squash‌ ‌has‌ ‌a‌ ‌sweet,‌ ‌juicy,‌ ‌and‌ ‌nutty‌ ‌flavor‌ ‌that‌ ‌reminds‌ ‌some‌ ‌people‌ ‌of‌ ‌sweet‌ ‌potatoes—or‌ ‌butterscotch.‌ ‌Because‌ ‌of‌ ‌its‌ ‌thick‌ ‌nature,‌ ‌it‌ ‌yields‌ ‌more‌ ‌servings‌ ‌per‌ ‌fruit‌ ‌than‌ ‌other‌ ‌squash‌ ‌cultivars.‌ ‌The‌ ‌rind‌ ‌is‌ ‌edible‌ ‌(after‌ ‌cooked),‌ ‌although‌ ‌most‌ ‌people‌ ‌peel‌ ‌it‌ ‌off.‌

What‌ ‌are‌ ‌the‌ ‌ingredients‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌creamy‌ ‌butternut‌ ‌squash‌ ‌and‌ ‌mascarpone‌ ‌orecchiette?‌

With‌ ‌a‌ ‌prep‌ ‌time‌ ‌of‌ ‌15‌ ‌minutes‌ ‌and‌ ‌cook‌ ‌time‌ ‌of‌ ‌25‌ ‌minutes,‌ ‌here‌ ‌are‌ ‌the‌ ‌ingredients‌ ‌that‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ ‌need‌ ‌for‌ ‌this‌ ‌good‌ ‌for‌ ‌4‌ ‌recipes:‌ ‌

  • Butternut‌ ‌squash‌ ‌-‌ ‌Has ‌a‌ ‌sweet‌ ‌and‌ ‌nutty‌ ‌taste.‌ ‌
  • Red‌ ‌onion‌ ‌-‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌the‌ ‌deep‌ ‌hue‌ ‌that‌ ‌makes‌ ‌them‌ ‌so‌ ‌appealing‌ ‌when‌ ‌used‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌recipe‌ ‌for‌ ‌presentation.‌ ‌
  • Garlic‌ ‌-‌ ‌For‌ ‌sweet‌ ‌and‌ ‌strong‌ ‌flavor.‌
  • Extra‌ ‌virgin‌ ‌olive‌ ‌oil‌ ‌-‌ ‌For‌ ‌an‌ ‌extra‌ ‌hit‌ ‌of‌ ‌flavor.‌ ‌
  • Sea‌ ‌salt‌ ‌and‌ ‌black‌ ‌pepper‌ ‌-‌ ‌Seasonings‌ ‌that‌ ‌most‌ ‌recipes‌ ‌call‌ ‌for.‌ ‌
  • Orecchiette‌ ‌pasta‌ ‌-‌ ‌The‌ ‌cupped‌ ‌shape‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌pasta‌ ‌holds‌ ‌sauce‌ ‌drips‌ ‌while‌ ‌its‌ ‌robust‌ ‌texture‌ ‌keeps‌ ‌it‌ ‌from‌ ‌becoming‌ ‌soggy.‌ ‌
  • Heavy‌ ‌cream‌ ‌-‌ ‌To‌ ‌thicken‌ ‌and‌ ‌flavor‌ ‌the‌ ‌pasta‌ ‌sauces.‌
  • Mascarpone‌ ‌cheese‌ ‌-‌ ‌Has‌ ‌a‌ ‌fresh‌ ‌buttery‌ ‌flavor‌ ‌that‌ ‌is‌ ‌moderately‌ ‌sweet‌ ‌and‌ ‌almost‌ ‌nutty.‌ ‌
  • Unsalted‌ ‌butter‌ ‌-‌ ‌Gives‌ ‌you‌ ‌complete‌ ‌control‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌overall‌ ‌flavor‌ ‌of‌ ‌this‌ ‌recipe.‌ ‌
  • Parmesan‌ ‌cheese‌ ‌-‌ ‌For‌ ‌fruity‌ ‌and‌ ‌nutty‌ ‌flavors.‌
  • Fresh‌ ‌thyme‌ ‌leaves‌ ‌-‌ ‌Strong‌ ‌and‌ ‌aromatic‌ ‌herb.‌ 

How to make creamy butternut squash and mascarpone orecchiette?

Now that you have gathered all of your ingredients, it is time to make this recipe. Follow the instructions below.

Begin by preheating the oven to  400°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat™  baking mat then set aside.

In a large mixing basin, combine the butternut squash, red onion, and garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Toss gently to mix, then move to the baking sheet. Without overcrowding, spread into a single layer.

Next, place the vegetables in a preheated oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until fork-tender and golden brown, rotating halfway through.

Prepare the orecchiette according to package directions while the butternut squash mixture roasts. Reserve one cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta once it’s al dente. Place the spaghetti back in the saucepan and set it aside.

After that, remove the roasted veggies from the oven and place them in a food processor or a high-powered blender with caution. (Avoid overfilling.) Blend until fully smooth, and covered. If required, add a bit of the remaining cooking liquid.

Before adding the heavy cream to the blender, temper it with one or two spoonfuls of the hot butternut squash purée. Blend in the mascarpone cheese until smooth.

Stir to mix the creamy butternut squash sauce with the pasta in the pot. As needed, thicken up the sauce with some of the remaining cooking liquid.

Lastly, combine the butter, Parmesan cheese, and fresh thyme leaves in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, and serve immediately with more Parmesan cheese on top, if desired. Enjoy!

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Yield: 4

Creamy Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Orecchiette

Creamy Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Orecchiette

Thanks to a blend of heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, butter, and Parmesan cheese, this delicious dish is so rich and decadent you may find it is best served as a side dish instead of the main course.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 4‌ ‌c.‌ ‌butternut‌ ‌squash,‌ ‌cubed‌ ‌(or‌ ‌15-oz.‌ ‌bag‌ ‌frozen)‌ ‌
  • 1‌ ‌medium‌ ‌red‌ ‌onion,‌ ‌roughly‌ ‌chopped‌ ‌
  • 4-5‌ ‌large‌ ‌cloves‌ ‌garlic,‌ ‌peeled‌ ‌
  • 2‌ ‌T.‌ ‌extra‌ ‌virgin‌ ‌olive‌ ‌oil‌ ‌
  • Sea‌ ‌salt‌ ‌and‌ ‌black‌ ‌pepper,‌ ‌to‌ ‌taste‌ ‌
  • 1‌ ‌lb.‌ ‌orecchiette‌ ‌pasta‌ ‌
  • ¼‌ ‌c.‌ ‌heavy‌ ‌cream‌ ‌ ‌
  • ½‌ ‌c.‌ ‌mascarpone‌ ‌cheese‌ ‌
  • 2‌ ‌T.‌ ‌unsalted‌ ‌butter‌ ‌
  • ½‌ ‌c.‌ ‌Parmesan‌ ‌cheese,‌ ‌freshly‌ ‌grated‌ ‌(plus‌ ‌extra‌ ‌for‌ ‌serving)‌ ‌
  • 2‌ ‌T.‌ ‌fresh‌ ‌thyme‌ ‌leaves‌ ‌


1. Pre-heat‌ ‌your‌ ‌oven‌ ‌to‌ ‌400°F‌ ‌and‌ ‌line‌ ‌a‌ ‌large,‌ ‌rimmed‌ ‌baking‌ ‌sheet‌ ‌with‌ ‌parchment‌ ‌paper‌ ‌or‌ ‌a‌ ‌Silpat™‌ ‌baking‌ ‌mat.‌ ‌Set‌ ‌aside.‌ ‌ ‌
‌ ‌
2. Add‌ ‌butternut‌ ‌squash,‌ ‌red‌ ‌onion,‌ ‌and‌ ‌garlic‌ ‌cloves‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌large‌ ‌bowl.‌ ‌Drizzle‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌olive‌ ‌oil‌ ‌and‌ ‌season‌ ‌with‌ ‌salt‌ ‌and‌ ‌black‌ ‌pepper ‌to‌ ‌taste.‌ ‌Gently‌ ‌toss‌ ‌to‌ ‌combine‌ ‌and‌ ‌transfer‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌prepared‌ ‌baking‌ ‌sheet.‌ ‌Spread‌ ‌into‌ ‌a‌ ‌single‌ ‌layer‌ ‌without‌ ‌overcrowding.‌ ‌ ‌
3. Place‌ ‌the‌ ‌vegetables‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌preheated ‌oven‌ ‌and‌ ‌roast‌ ‌for‌ ‌25-30‌ ‌minutes,‌ ‌turning‌ ‌halfway‌ ‌through,‌ ‌or‌ ‌until‌ ‌vegetables‌ ‌are‌ ‌fork-tender ‌and‌ ‌golden‌ ‌brown.‌ ‌ ‌
4. While‌ ‌the‌ ‌butternut‌ ‌squash‌ ‌mixture‌ ‌is‌ ‌roasting,‌ ‌prepare‌ ‌the‌ ‌orecchiette‌ ‌according‌ ‌to‌ ‌package‌ ‌instructions.‌ ‌Once‌ ‌the‌ ‌pasta‌ ‌is‌ ‌al‌ ‌dente,‌ ‌reserve‌ ‌one‌ ‌cup‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌cooking‌ ‌water‌ ‌before ‌draining.‌ ‌Then, return ‌the pasta‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌pot‌ ‌and‌ ‌set‌ ‌it aside.‌ ‌ ‌
5. Remove‌ ‌the‌ ‌roasted‌ ‌vegetables‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌oven‌ ‌and‌ ‌carefully‌ ‌transfer‌ ‌them to‌ ‌a‌ ‌food‌ ‌processor‌ ‌or‌ ‌a‌ ‌high-speed‌ ‌blender.‌ ‌(Do‌ ‌not‌ ‌overfill).‌ ‌Cover‌ ‌and‌ ‌blend‌ ‌until‌ ‌completely‌ ‌smooth.‌ ‌Add‌ ‌a‌ ‌little‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌reserved‌ ‌cooking‌ ‌liquid,‌ ‌if‌ ‌necessary.‌ ‌ ‌
6. Temper‌ ‌the‌ ‌heavy‌ ‌cream‌ ‌by‌ ‌stirring‌ ‌ ‌one‌ ‌or‌ ‌two‌ ‌tablespoons‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌hot‌ ‌butternut‌ ‌squash‌ ‌puree‌ ‌into ‌it‌ ‌before‌ ‌adding‌ ‌it to‌ ‌the‌ ‌blender.‌ ‌Add‌ ‌the‌ ‌mascarpone‌ ‌cheese‌ ‌and‌ ‌blend‌ ‌until‌ ‌smooth.‌ ‌ ‌
7. Pour‌ ‌the‌ ‌creamy‌ ‌butternut‌ ‌squash‌ ‌sauce‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌pot‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌pasta‌ ‌and‌ ‌stir‌ ‌to‌ ‌combine.‌ ‌As needed, add ‌some‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌reserved‌ ‌cooking‌ ‌liquid‌ ‌to‌ ‌thin‌ ‌out‌ ‌the‌ ‌sauce.‌ ‌
8. Stir‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌butter,‌ ‌Parmesan‌ ‌cheese,‌ ‌and‌ ‌fresh‌ ‌thyme‌ ‌leaves.‌ ‌Season‌ ‌with‌ ‌additional‌ ‌salt‌ ‌and‌ ‌black‌ ‌pepper ‌to‌ ‌taste,‌ ‌and‌ ‌serve‌ ‌immediately‌ ‌topped‌ ‌with‌ ‌additional‌ ‌Parmesan‌ ‌cheese,‌ ‌if‌ ‌desired.‌ ‌Enjoy!‌ ‌ ‌

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1174Total Fat: 93gSaturated Fat: 53gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 255mgSodium: 994mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 9gSugar: 10gProtein: 22g

These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.

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