Hi, this is Tina, a.k.a Cheftini! I am a food enthusiast and blogger who loves to cook, create and share recipes. I’m thrilled and honored to be contributing some of my favorites here on Stacy Knows!
Creamy Butternut Squash Rigatoni
Do you love Butternut squash? I do, I mean, what’s not to love about a vegetable that’s name starts with “butter”, right? But don’t let the name fool you, butternut squash happens to be very low in calories and quite nutritiously packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins, and fiber.
Although considered a winter vegetable, butternut squash happens to be one of my favorite foods to make during the fall season. This squash makes a healthful and delicious soup, as well as the most delicious sauce over pasta.
One of my favorite dishes using butternut squash is a Creamy Butternut Squash Rigatoni with Pancetta. Although not overly complicated a recipe, depending on your schedule this might be a dish best reserved for a Saturday or Sunday night. If you are short on time or feel intimidated by cutting up the squash, purchasing pre cut squash from your local grocer is always a great option. Quite honestly, it’s usually the option I choose.
Please note that even though I’m pretty sure the cream, butter and Italian bacon might make this dish slightly higher in calories and fat, I would definitely put in a few extra miles on the treadmill to enjoy this dish every now and again.
Happy cooking and Enjoy!
12 oz of Rigatoni Pasta
1 1/2 – 2 lb Butternut squash cut into 1” cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz of sliced pancetta
1/2 a medium diced onion (or 1 large shallot)
2 handfuls grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 Tblsp. fresh thyme (removed from stem)
Dash of Nutmeg (or to taste)
Salt & Pepper
1. Cook 12 oz of rigatoni pasta in salted boiling water.
2. In a large skillet cook pancetta until crispy and then rough chop into pieces. Set aside. Drain off the excess fat from the pan but do not clean. Turn the heat to medium/high add olive oil and butter. Add the onion and cook until slightly transparent, add the squash cubes, season with salt and pepper and then add the stock. Simmer the squash in the liquid until they can be pierced with a fork. Using a potato masher, press down on the squash to break them up. You are looking for a “smashed” squash consistency.
3. Add the cream, cooked pancetta, thyme and nutmeg and bring to a gentle simmer. Do not allow to boil or the cream will separate. Once at a simmer add 1 or 2 handfuls of grated parmesan (or Romano) cheese, stir in and then remove pan from heat.
4.Add the cooked pasta to the pan, coat through the sauce and serve with extra servings of grated cheese.
NOTE: I prefer this sauce a bit chunkier but if you prefer a smoother sauce blend the squash with an immersion blender rather than using a potato masher.