Quick Fall Pasta With Butternut Squash, Roasted Garlic, Pancetta and Pine Nuts

By • October 22, 2010 • 3 Comments


62 Save

Author Notes: This was inspired by butternut squash risotto when I had squash, sage and pancetta, but no arborio rice. I added pine nuts because I had them on hand, but toasted walnuts would work beautifully as well. It's a great quick weeknight meal that is comforting and hearty, yet still reasonably healthy. The leftovers taste great warmed up in the microwave the next day.mg2157

Serves 4

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 6-8 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound penne or pasta shape of your choice
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted in dry pan
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus more to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Peel and seed squash and cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Cut top off each garlic clove to expose. Place squash and garlic on sheet pan, drizzle all with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and roast for about 35 minutes until garlic and squash are soft and squash is browned.
  2. Remove pan from oven and transfer about 1/3 of squash to large bowl. Mash squash in bowl with fork and set aside.
  3. Boil large pot of water, salt liberally, and add pasta. Cook to al dente, then drain (reserving about 1/2 cup pasta water) and add pasta to bowl with mashed butternut squash, stirring to coat noodles.
  4. In large skillet, heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add pancetta and saute until almost crispy, about four minutes. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves into pan, stirring and mashing with wooden spoon to incorporate. Add diced sage and saute together until sage and pancetta are crispy, about two minutes more.
  5. Add pancetta/sage/garlic mixture to bowl with pasta and mashed squash. Add remaining cubes of squash. Add grated Parmesan and stir to combine. Add a bit of reserved pasta water if mixture is too thick. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve, topping each plate with toasted pine nuts and passing additional Parmesan.

Comments (3) Questions (0)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

over 3 years ago DanaD

I made this as written except that I forgot to save some pasta water and mixed the smashed squash in with a bit of olive oil. The pancetta and pine nuts were great with the butternut squash. I would make it again but cut the chunks of squash a bit smaller (mine were probably bitter than 3/4") and I would try to get the smashed squash to mix in better. Moral of the story: don't forget to save some pasta water.

Dscn2828

over 3 years ago JoanG

Sounds wonderful!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

I love these flavors together. And the quick meal thing is key.