Butternut Bolognese


Butternut Bolognese

To make this somewhat time-intensive dish a little more weeknight friendly, roast and puree the squash ahead of time. Otherwise, plan to chop your other veggies while the squash is roasting, and count on a solid two hours start to finish (but there's plenty of time to drink wine during that last hour!).
Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4


  • 1 small-ish butternut squash halved & seeded
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 small-ish celery root diced to 1/4"
  • 1 medium-ish carrot diced to 1/4"
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup whole milk heavy cream, or half & half
  • 1 lb pasta any shape
  • freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Royer Mountain


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drizzle butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast on a sheet pan until fork-soft, 30-45 minutes. Allow squash to cool.
  3. While squash is cooling, heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook ground beef, breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon, until just cooked through. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add the veggies (minus the squash), season with salt and pepper, reduce heat slightly, and saute until onions are fully translucent, and celeriac and carrots are soft.
  5. Add meat to the veggies and mix thoroughly. Add the white wine, and simmer until liquid has nearly evaporated.
  6. While wine is simmering, scoop squash flesh into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  7. Back at the stove, add milk or cream, mix thoroughly, and simmer until liquid has reduced about halfway. Stir in pureed squash, and reduce heat to very low.
  8. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes, adjusting heat and/or adding water if needed.
  9. Cook pasta according to directions on package, then using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to pot with bolognese and combine thoroughly. Serve with grated cheese and extra black pepper!

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Joshua McFadden's Pumpkin Bolognese in "Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables"