Monday, January 3, 2011

#1 - Farfalle with Butternut Squash, Pancetta, and Balsamico

Happy New Year! And with a new year comes a new resolution. After finishing up our photo-a-day challenge of 2010 we are on to our new adventure - cooking 100 new recipes and sharing them with you.

These are all going to be new recipes we're trying. Some may be from magazines and websites, while others may be our own creations. We may even try to make some we've done before even better.

First up, a Barilla recipe using butternut squash, since we still have some from our CSA a few weeks ago.

Farfalle with Butternut Squash, Pancetta, and Balsamico

Adapted from Barilla
We followed most of the written recipe, but made a couple of substitutions and additions. We couldn't find campanelle at Giant, so we settled for farfalle. Also, we decided to add some parmigiano, because what's pasta without some cheese?
This is the second time we've worked with butternut squash, and we are getting better at breaking it down. It's easiest to separate the round bottom part from the long top stem, like they do on A Veggie Venture. Then you can peel and chop more quickly.
It doesn't have the timing in the Barilla recipe, but we started boiling the water for the pasta when we added the butternut squash into the sauce. That gave enough time to make the pasta and finish cooking and blending the sauce, so that everything was ready to toss at the same time.
The end result was a yummy winter pasta, different from some of the other kinds of sauces we usually make. The pancetta added a great crunch and saltiness to the softness and sweetness of the squash. And the addition of some parmigiano gave another level of flavor to the dish. Topping it off with the balsamico really helped give a last bit of acidity to the overall taste.
Here's the recipe for you:
  • 1/3 cup pancetta, julienned
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb farfalle
  1. Sauté pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it is crispy. Drain excess fat from pan. Set pancetta aside on a piece of paper towel on a plate.
  2. Heat olive oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and rosemary, and sauté until golden.
  3. Add the butternut squash and the chicken broth, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the squash softens.
  4. Discard the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Process half of the sauce in a blender until it is smooth. You can thin the sauce with more chicken broth, if needed. Return sauce to skillet.
  6. Cook the pasta to al dente and toss with the sauce.
  7. Add the parmigiano and toss. Top the pasta with the pancetta, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

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