Pasta with Squash, Arugula, and Pancetta

Squash and Arugula Pasta

Pasta with Squash, Arugula, and Pancetta

Serves 4 

Inspired by Cookthink
If using artisan-cured pancetta, it may be quite salty, so be careful not to over-salt the other components of the dish.

1 small Kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash, peeled and cut into 3/4” chunks (4 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Pancetta and Onions:
3 thick slices pancetta, cut in 1/2” dice (1/2 cup)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups diced onion, 1/2” dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage

1/2 pound casarecci or similarly shaped pasta
4 cups arugula, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Make the Squash: Preheat the oven to 515°F. On a baking sheet with rims, toss the squash cubes with olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Put the squash in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 475°F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the squash cubes halfway though, until the squash is cooked through and lightly browned.

Put a large pot of salted water on a burner over high heat.

Make the Onions and Pancetta: Sauté the pancetta in olive oil until it begins to brown. Stir in the onions and freshly ground black pepper, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and sauté until the onions soften. If the onions start sticking to the bottom of the pan, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water. When the onions are lightly browned, stir in the garlic and sage and keep warm over very low heat.

Make the Pasta: Add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook until it is al dente. While the pasta is cooking, put the arugula in a large bowl. When the pasta is done, remove 1 cup of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta well, and put the drained pasta on top of the arugula in the bowl. Add the roasted squash and cooked onions to the bowl and toss all the ingredients well. If the dish is too dry, add as much of the pasta cooking water as necessary (usually 1/4 – 1/2 cup). Taste and add freshly ground black pepper or salt, as needed.

Serve sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese.



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