Sunday, February 13, 2011

Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pancetta and Sage

We were very luck to reap some of the benefits of fellow CSA member Jen's participation in Charcutepalooza. The pancetta we received is out of this world. (And I am rationing it carefully to stretch it out as long as I can!)

Tonight the mix of sweet squash and salty pancetta was perfect.

from Martha Stewart:

Serves 4.

1 medium (about 2 1/4 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
Coarse salt
3/4 pound penne pasta
3 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and finely chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
10 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt. Transfer to oven and roast until squash is browned and tender, about 15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Set pasta and reserved cooking liquid aside.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add pancetta and cook until just crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add shallots, crushed red pepper, and sage. Cook until shallots are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add penne and squash and toss gently, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid as necessary to moisten.

Add cheese and black pepper and cook, tossing gently, until pasta and squash are heated through. Serve immediately with more grated cheese, if desired.

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