Recipe of the Month

(Butternut Squash Purée)

This delicious purée can be prepared with any type of winter squash, such as butternut, acorn, or pumpkin. You may also serve it as a first-course soup; just add extra water to achieve the desired consistency. If ricotta affumicata is not available, you may substitute ricotta salata.

1 large butternut squash (about 2 to 3 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water, plus extra as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch ground cloves
• • •
1/2 cup grated ricotta affumicata
Ground cinnamon

Place a steamer rack inside a large pot; fill with 1 inch of water. Place the squash on the rack. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover and steam until tender, about 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; mash well.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic; cook and stir until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the flour; cook and stir until the butter begins to brown, about 3–5 minutes. Stir in the mashed squash, 1/4 cup water, cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves. Reduce heat to low; cook until the water is absorbed, about 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If the squash is too thick, add more water as necessary.) Season to taste with salt. Serve topped with grated ricotta affumicata and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Serves 4 to 6.