I love making pasta, and I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes with you first before we foray into some traditional tomato based sauces. This is the most perfect dish to make when butternut squash is in season, and the sauce freezes very well if you’d like to make a bigger batch at one go. The combination of sage, pancetta and butternut squash is one of the most natural and classic flavor combinations of all time, and not to mention who could resist this beautiful plate of golden goodness?
– Half a small butternut squash, chopped into giant chunks
– Half a cup of chopped pancetta
– Big handful of chopped sage
– 1/2 cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano
– I’ve used garganelli here but any type of short pastas would work just as well
1. Instead of boiling the butternut squash, I prefer steaming them in a steamer to reduce excess liquids. Steam the chopped butternut squash for about 10 minutes or till tender.
(on a sidenote, you can use the boiling water from the steamer pot to cook the pasta once the butternut squash is done, saving time and pots to wash)
2. Add the softened butternut squash into a food processor (or in my case, my trusty Magic Bullet) and blend. It’s up to personal preference how smooth or chunky you’d like the sauce to be.
3. At this stage, add the pasta to the salted boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
4. In a dry pan, add the pancetta cubes and fry till the oil renders out.
5. Add in the blended butternut squash and the chopped sage. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for a few minutes till the flavors marry.
(if the sauce appears too thick at this point, add in a little of the pasta water or some milk or cream depending on preference).
6. Once the pasta’s ready, toss it with the sauce. Serve with more sage and grated cheese.