Name that Pasta

Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 in Pasta | 0 comments

During the last days of the Fast in January, I began making a mental list of the things I wanted to eat.  Pasta Carbonara, a marriage of hot pasta with a mixture of eggs, pancetta, and Parmesan cheese was high on the list. Bon Appétit landed in my mailbox in February sending signals about Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage.  This creamy carbonara gets its richness from pureed squash without an egg in sight.








Although the recipe calls for the trendy kabocha or butternut squash, I selected two custom-cut chunks of heirloom pumpkin at the Farmers’ Market.








Crisp up diced pancetta (I used only 2 ounces of the requested 4) in olive oil (I also only used 1 tablespoon of oil).









Dropping the sliced sage into the skillet brought to my mind that magnificent memory of being in Reggio Emilia home to Parmesan and pork.








The sage and crisp pancetta are set aside while the cubes of squash (or pumpkin) are airlifted into the skillet with the garlic and onion.








When the onion is translucent, the broth simmers with them until the squash is tender and the broth reduced.









After a quick spin, it goes back into the skillet.  It is important to taste the puree at this point and season.








The cooked pasta and silky puree are gently tossed together; add a ladle of pasta cooking water to coat completely; mix in some of the cheese too.








Serve up the pasta topped with the fragrant sage, bits of pancetta and more curly cheese.  The warm and comforting pasta with a glossy hue of pumpkin bumped up by salty sage crumbles was mind bending and such a sweet surprise!

"Oh, and next time use all of the pancetta." says, MP.





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