Heat the oven to 400°F. Slice a thin piece off both ends of the squash, including the stem. Cut the squash in half crosswise (perpendicular to the ribs). Scoop out the seeds with a sturdy spoon.
With foil or parchment, line a small pan in which the squash will fit snugly. If you use foil, rub it with butter to keep the squash from sticking. Set the squash halves in the prepared baking pan and smear the flesh with the softened butter. Sprinkle with the salt. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top edge of the squash and into the cavity (most of the liquid will pool there) and sprinkle with the ginger (if using).
Roast the squash halves until nicely browned and very tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour and 15 minutes for small to medium squash (larger squash may take longer); add the pecans (if using) for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve warm.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1/2 squash, Calories
9, Fat Calories
80, Saturated Fat
2, Monounsaturated Fat
36, Polyunsaturated Fat