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Monday, February 3, 2014

Butternut Squash Pasta: Recipe

Meredith's Food for Life
Northeastern snow days - beautiful to look at, potentially dangerous to the waistline - unless you padlock the fridge or just decide to cook healthy. A day after the Super Bowl, anyone would agree that eating fresh and healthy is the best plan of attack. That extra helping of guacamole and nachos was a real killer!

I'll admit that this is not a "quick meal for lunch" kind of thing. But I had butternut squash and wanted to make this recipe as I had just seen it in a magazine. I reduced the amount of squash, increased the pasta amount the recipe suggested and I used a whole grain variety instead of regular pasta. Also, I didn't have pancetta on hand but I did have prosciutto, so I used that. This was delicious and it wasn't difficult, just time consuming. The sauce was smooth and creamy and for a minute I felt very decadant. Then I remembered that it was all healthy!!

Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage and Proscuitto

1 lb. whole grain linguini
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 cups low sodium, no fat chicken broth
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. Proscuitto, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in the Proscuitto and sauté for about 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the Proscuitto and set aside. Add in the sage, onion and garlic and sauté for about 5-7 minutes, until the onion is soft - stir often so the garlic does not burn. Add in the squash and the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil for pasta and cook linguini according to package directions.

When squash is about ready - soft enough to spear with a fork - pour entire contents of pan into a food processor or blender, along with 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid (taken immediately before draining) and purée. Add more water, if need be. Toss with the hot pasta and toss with the Proscuitto and cheese. Sprinkle more sage if desired.

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