Butternut squash soup with pancetta and pasta

Soup with pancetta and pasta

In these lingering winter/cloudy days, I’ve been enjoying this delicious soup. I love a good, hearty soup, and this recipe fits the bill. Butternut squash is my go to vegetable for soup, so I try to do something new every time.

Ingredients:
  • 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • small handful fresh sage leaves, whole
  • 3 cups peeled, seeded, & cubed butternut squash (half inch cubes or somewhere thereabouts)*
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb. pasta of your choice— fettucine or linguine (I used spiral pasta)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • to serve: Pecorino or Parmesan or the hard, salty cheese of your choice
Instructions:

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook the pancetta until it is crisp, stirring occasionally.  Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a small bowl. Add more oil to the skillet if needed and quick-fry the sage leaves for just a minute or two until they are crisp, then transfer to the same bowl as the pancetta.

In the same skillet that you just cooked the pancetta & sage in (delicious flavor in there!), cook the squash, onion, and garlic over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the onion is translucent, then add the broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the squash is soft and the liquid has reduced considerably, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow the squash to cool a bit, then use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. (Alternately, you can transfer to a conventional blender, but if you do this, you will need to let the squash cool a bit longer first.)  Taste and season the mixture with salt & pepper.

Cook your pasta until al dente—you will be cooking it a bit more in the next step, so don’t over-cook it now!  Drain the pasta and reserve about a half cup of cooking liquid.  In the same old big skillet, combine the pasta, squash puree, and ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and cook over medium heat, tossing everything around until the sauce coats the pasta.  (Add more cooking liquid as needed to thin the sauce.)  This step should only take a few minutes.

Remove from heat and crumbled the pancetta and sage over the skillet, plus a generous amount of cheese!

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