Butternut squash on it’s own is wonderful, but rather sweet, so why not pair it with crispy nuggets of pancetta for a dotting of saltiness? Since this pasta is so simple, I have to at least pretend that some stupendous balance is being struck between textures and flavours, right? Work with me 😉
Butternut Squash Linguine with Pancetta and Sage(serves 2)
Fill a large pot with water. Put it on high heat and cover. While you wait for it to boil, put all the pancetta in a large skillet over medium low heat and render the fat and brown the pancetta. This takes about 15 minutes, stirring regularly. If there is ever more than 2 tablespoons of fat pour off the excess. Once the pancetta is crispy, spoon it onto a paper towel and set aside. Turn the heat up to medium and repeat the process with the sage until nice and crispy. Again, once crispy remove to a paper towel.
When the water is boiling add a small palmful of salt, and cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 4 cups of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Over medium low heat in that big skillet whisk the butternut squash puree to heat it up, slowly add pasta water until the squash has thinned out to a pasta sauce consistency, you are unlikely to need all the water. Once hot and thinned out add the pasta and toss with tongs over low heat, adding more water than needed. Toss in your sage and pancetta. Taste the sauce and add salt as necessary and a big helping of freshly ground pepper. Serve hot.