Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pasta: Butternut Squash, Bacon and Sage

I'm going to be honest, when I first made this it just wasn't doing it for me... it was very 'one note.' It was missing something, something to mellow out the sweetness of the butternut squash, the answer? Why, the answer to almost all of life's quandaries of course, bacon! The bacon not only balances the sweet with salt, it also gives it some crunchy texture. Another confession, until this, I had never cooked with sage, but after crisping it in the rendered fat from the aforementioned bacon... I will never-not cook with sage again!

Butternut Squash Sauce with Crispy Bacon and Crispier Sage

4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1/4 onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
8 sage leaves, fried
1/2 cup crumbled Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
4 slices of thick cut bacon, crumbled

1. Boil water in a medium sized sauce pan. Add salt and butternut squash. Cook until tender and drain.

2. Meanwhile boil water for pasta, cooking pasta according to package directions. Drain.

3. In a large skillet, cook 4 slices of bacon. Keep fat in pan, and drain cooked bacon on paper towels. Over medium heat, fry sage leaves in bacon fat for about 20 seconds, turning once. (note: IF you have just washed your leaves, they will splatter A LOT... be careful!) You will know when the leaves are as crisp as they will get when they quiet down and stop dancing in the oil. Drain leaves on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. reserve bacon fat.

4. Cook onion and garlic until translucent in reserved bacon fat, add olive oil if necessary.

5. In a food processor, pulse butternut squash and onion and garlic. Add water or chicken stock until it is the right saucy consistency.

6. Transfer pureed sauce into large skillet, cook over medium heat until bubbling. Add cooked pasta to sauce. mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 4 crumbled crisp sage leaves, and 2 crumbled slices of bacon. Plate and garnish with one sage leaf each, more Parmesan cheese and remaining bacon.

*Photos by me

No comments:

Post a Comment