Boy, oh boy, I am loving blogging. It is really helping me keep track of my recipes. This one being the perfect example.
The evolution of this recipe began when my mother dropped of a butternut squash that she wasn't going to use. Thanks, Mom! Immediately, I thought of a soup, but I was in the mood for pasta. I have seen squash and pasta recipes before and many have had bacon in them. Great, I had some leftover pancetta in the frig. Now, how about some onion to go with that pancetta? Let's go with a red to add some sweetness. And what goes well with pancetta and onions? Cheese-- Parmesan check! Still missing something...a herb... thyme... no... sage... maybe... rosemary... bingo! Lastly, a bit of texture and something to really give it that Fall pasta dish... a garnish of roasted walnuts. And there you have it. A simply delicous pasta to add to your seasonal repertoire. Oh, and just so you know, when my daughter took her first bite she said, "Yum, you should blog this!" Consider it done.Printable Recipe
Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta
1 lb pasta (I used gemelli)
1 medium butternut squash, about 2 1/2 lbs, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 oz sliced pancetta, roughly chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325º. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 or until fragrant and golden. Remove from the baking sheet and roughly chop. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place pancetta in pan and cook until brown and crispy, stirring frequently, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the pancetta with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet.
Add the onions to the fat and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the diced squash and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until squash is tender, about 10-15 minutes. The squash is done when it is easily pierced with a pairing knife. With the back of a spoon, gently mash 1/2 the squash. Stir in the butter. Keep warm over low heat.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the maufacturer's directions. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add the squash mixture, Parmesan Reggianno cheese, pancetta, rosemary and walnuts. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!