Chef Scott credits his mom with instilling in him a love and passion for food. “Whether it’s at home or in front of a live audience, my mom is still my favorite cooking partner. I make the recipes that she taught me as a kid growing up.” Squash is a fall favorite for recipes; try this great twist on a traditional baked ziti.
Chicken Butternut Squash Baked Ziti
- 32 ounce carton butternut squash soup
- 3 cups cooked rigatoni
- 1 pound pre-roasted chicken, shredded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 15 sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a medium pot over medium heat, bring butternut squash to a boil. Lower heat and reduce sauce, about 15 minutes.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onion and garlic until translucent and not browned. Stir in Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and chicken, for 2 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs together.
- In a 13 x 9 baking dish, mix butternut squash sauce, 1/2 of ricotta cheese, rigatoni, and chicken until just combined. Dot with remaining ricotta and spread an even layer of Parmesan bread crumbs over top.
- Bake until cheese is melted through and breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Crisp sage leaves for about 8 minutes and remove with slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle on top of baked ziti.