Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a soupspoon to scoop out the seeds and scrape out the strings from the hollow. Rub the cut surfaces with oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and roast on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet, cut side up, until deeply browned and very tender, about 80 to 90 min. Let cool before using in other recipes, or cover and refrigerate for up to two days.
Ways to use roasted squash
• Fill ravioli with roasted butternut squash mixed with a little cream and parmigiano cheese.
• Make a risotto by stirring in dollops of roasted butternut squash; try sautéed slivered sage leaves as a garnish.
• For a pasta sauce, start with roasted squash and purée with cream, chicken broth, and a little vinegar.
• Layer roasted butternut squash in a lasagna with wilted spinach or chard, feta and a vibrant tomato sauce. Use it sparingly throughout, or make one entire layer of butternut squash.
• Purée roasted butternut squash with spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, or curry. Add a squeeze of orange juice and a little grated zest for a great side dish.
• Or mash it with plenty of butter and a little tangy goat cheese for an alternative to mashed potatoes.