Monday, 15 September 2014

Pasta with butternut squash and pancetta



Due to the drop in temperature and a definate autumnal feel today, it seemed quite apt to be cooking this meal with butternut squash. It's a new recipe I found on the GoodFood website. I used bacon instead of pancetta, but think that pancetta would have been a better choice. I also tweaked the recipe by roasting the squash, garlic, chilli and rosemary in the oven, seasoned and drizzled with olive oil. I just added this to the bacon when it was crispy and mashed the squash slightly at that stage. I then added the pasta and the spinach and combined all the ingredients.

Ingredients
Serves 4
½ x 160g pack pancetta di cubetti
1½ tbsp olive oil
750g butternut squash, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped
¼ tsp chilli flakes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
350g fusilli bucati (or fusilli)
100g young leaf spinach, roughly chopped
grated Parmesan, to serve

Method
Tip the pancetta into a large frying pan set over a medium heat and cook for 5-8 mins until really crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the oil to the pan, along with the squash, rosemary, chilli and garlic. Cover and cook for 25 mins, stirring now and then, until the squash is tender. Season well, and gently crush some of the butternut squash with the back of a spoon.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil 15 mins before the squash is ready, and cook the pasta following pack instructions. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Add 1-2 ladles of pasta water to the squash and let it bubble for a few mins. Tip in the drained pasta and toss together. Stir through the spinach, then divide between plates. Sprinkle over the pancetta, some grated Parmesan and a good grinding of black pepper.

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