Pile the butternut squash into a medium, heavy saucepan or dutch oven. Add the olive oil and season with salt. Cover the pan, and place it over medium high heat. Occasionally lift the lid to stir, but you want the butternut squash to rapidly saute and steam in the oil. Cook until the squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Make sure the squash doesn't burn; adjust the heat as needed.
Off the heat, use a potato masher to crush the squash to a very soft mash with no large chunks. Return the purée to medium heat. Pour in the cream and let it sit until it bubbles. Then stir it in. Add more salt or cream as needed.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.