Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Sage

16 02 2012

This simple, hearty pasta recipe is packed with flavor. The crisp prosciutto pairs well with the sweet, tender butternut squash. And since it’s relatively quick to make, this is a great weeknight meal!

Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Sage

The following serves 4 (compliments of Scott Conant):

  • 1 medium (about 2 and 1/4 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 3/4 pound penne pasta
  • 3 ounces prosciutto thinly sliced and finely chopped (the original recipe called for pancetta which I’m sure would be delicious)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise (I substituted red onion, finely chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, flakes
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt. Transfer to oven and roast until squash is browned and tender, about 15 – 20  minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Set pasta and reserved cooking liquid aside.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add prosciutto or pancetta and cook until just crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add shallots, crushed red pepper, and sage. Cook until shallots are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add penne and squash and toss gently, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid as necessary to moisten.
Add cheese and black pepper and cook, tossing gently, until pasta and squash are heated through. I finished
with about a Tbsp cubed cold butter, tossing everything together until melted. Serve immediately with more grated cheese, if desired.
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