This recipe was an experiment that went really, really well and will be saved for those special grown-up nights at home that will always taste better than any restaurant. So give it a try! I added bacon, chili flakes, crispy shallots and parmesan to this recipe but very well could have left them out. But I probably wouldn’t, because bacon and parmesan are always welcome at my table.
Serves 2 to 4
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the cut sides with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil. Place cut-side down on one half of a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the woody ends of the asparagus and cut the stalks on a diagonal into 2-inch pieces.
Remove the baking sheet with the squash, add the asparagus to the other side, and toss with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Place a garlic clove beneath each squash half. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the asparagus is tender and starting to char, and the squash is easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the ricotta, lemon juice, zest, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, and stir to combine.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully remove the garlic cloves from beneath the squash. Add to the ricotta and mix well. Add the asparagus to the bowl.
When the squash is cool enough to handle but still warm, run a fork through the flesh to separate and remove the strands from the shell. Add to the ricotta mixture and stir to combine. Divide between plates or transfer to a serving platter and top with the pine nuts.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.