Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pasta with Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions and Pancetta

I thought I would toss up a post before breakfast. It's kind of like tossing up a prayer, but my blog posts don't quite make it to heaven. Either way, I thought I would take advantage of both of my boys watching "Toot and Puddle" AT THE SAME TIME. Van isn't much of a TV watcher, which is just too bad. I once had a pediatrician very arrogantly tell me that his 18 month old had never watched even one second of TV. And I then told him that someday, he would wake up and his toddler would be having a TV binge and he would be watching "Girls Gone Wild". I actually didn't say that to him, but that's what I was thinking. Anyways, here is a delightful recipe. After this, I am going to start breakfast. I am thinking peanut butter pancakes. It's how I am sneakily convincing Jack to like peanut butter. What kind of self-respecting child doesn't like peanut butter?


Last winter, I had a pizza at Pizzeria 712 that was just like this pasta. Butternut squash, rosemary, caramelized onions and bacon. It was super delicious. Ever since then, I have wanted to make a pasta version of it and I pulled it off. In all honesty, this was better than the pizza. The cream pulls all the flavors together so nicely. And I like the milder flavor of the pancetta instead of bacon. If you can't find pancetta, use bacon or get rid of it all together and go sans meat. And do me a favor, spring for the fresh rosemary. It makes a big difference. Plus, fresh rosemary keeps in the fridge for a week or two. So you can use the extras for scrambled eggs or rolls.


Speaking of herbs, you will notice the bright green leaves on the pasta. That's chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Chopped fresh parsley makes the biggest difference in a dish with the color and the flavor. And for food bloggers, a little sprinkling of fresh green parsley makes your food look prettier in pictures. When you do your grocery shopping, grab a bunch of flat-leaf parsley for $1 and add it to your finished food all week. It is like the cherry on top.




1 Tbsp olive oil
3 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 lb pasta of your choice
4 cups chopped butternut squash
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed from stems and minced, about 1/3 cup
4 oz pancetta (about 10 thin slices), chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 cups heavy cream
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired

In a small skillet, combine the olive oil, red onions and salt. Set over low heat and cover, stirring occasionally for 2 1/2 hours. Once the onions are cooked down and browned, remove from pan and onto a plate and set aside.

In a small skillet over medium high heat, add the pancetta. Saute until browned and then pour onto a paper towel to drain. Set aside.

In a large pot of salted water over high heat, boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Once the oil runs quickly in the pan, add the butternut squash and rosemary. Cook until softened, about 15 minutes. Gently stir in caramelized onions. Add butter and stir until melted. Pour in heavy cream and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cooked pasta and pancetta. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Yield 6 servings.

Rookie's Notes: Be sure that you gently stir in the ingredients after the squash is cooked. The squash is soft and can fall apart.

19 comments:

Ashley Thalman said...

This looks beautiful, and festive, and flavorful. Bacon + butternut squash- I guess I know what we are having tonight!

WF said...

this looks awesome! how many did it serve??

Krista ... said...

i have all of those ingredients in my kitchen! yay! yay! yay! i've been trying to figure out what to do with all the butternut squash i grew this year. bless you rc. it's what we're having for dinner.

(and feel free to do some more recipes with butternut squash. i've got it coming out my ears.)

rookie cookie said...

Whoops Wendy. It serves 6. I added that to the bottom of the recipe. Thanks for reminding me.

Sarah said...

I have had that pizza! I am making this for sure!

hannah :: sherbet blossom said...

oh my yum! I am totally going to make this. tonight, i think.

Nan said...

looks delish! Costco sells pre-cubed butternut squash. So wonderful for weaklings like me! Did you exceed 712 on this pasta? I love it when that happens!

Kalli Ko said...

Looks like I'll be picking up some squarsh. Yes I said squarsh. My parents live in Sanpete. Totally justifiable.

Mrs. Organic said...

That looks so good! I've been trying to figure out what do with my butternut harvest besides roasting it and using it in soup.

Cherry Tree Lane said...

please come live at my house.

Valerie said...

Wow!! Great job. It is so beautiful and looks delicious.

Jelli Bean said...

This pasta is right up my alley! I love to cook Italian, and in fact, this is similar to combining 2 of this week's dinner items: butternut squash risotto and caramelized onion lasagna. If you like lasagna, send me a line and I'll give you the link. This one's fabulous and healthy-ish.

modern myrtle said...

This has me written all over it. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. :)

rookie cookie said...

I had no idea so many people would like something like this. I thought it was a little different. But I am glad to see that I am among friends!

Amy B. said...

I am sort of scared of this dish...there are ALOT of vegetables...

Nicole said...

Oh my goodness. I don't even remember how I found your blog, but after seeing this recipe, I think it was meant to be. And the owner of Pizzeria 712 is my cousin! Yay Colton! He's one talented kid. If this tastes anything like one of his concoctions, I'm sure I'll be doing a happy dance. Thanks for sharing!!!

*bookmarked*

Mrs. Olsen said...

I have no idea what pancetta is, but am guessing it's some sort of salted meat. Can you help me out? What is it and where do I find it?

sheena said...

drool.....

right before dinner when I am at my utmost starving point is the WORST time to be on your blog.....(that is a compliment)

and, just so you know, I laugh every single time I comment over here, at your lovely little commenting instructions....LOVE it!!!

wildwesthome said...

This sounds amazing and I'm putting my shopping list together now. Quick question though - 2 1/2 hours to cook the onions down? Is that right and is it really necessary? That's a lot of time to spend on dinner prep so I hope it's worth it...!

~vee