1small pumpkin or butternut squashpeeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces
3sprigs fresh thyme
salt & pepper
3banana shallotsfinely chopped
5whole sage leaves
grated parmesanto serve
Cube the butternut squash into bite-sized pieces and place in a non-stick roasting tray, season with salt and pepper, add the whole thyme sprigs and coat with olive oil. Place in a pre-heated oven at 200CFan and roast the squash for 30 minutes until softened but still with a bite. Remove the thyme springs and set aside until the sauce is made.
In saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat and allow the butter to darken to a rich brown colour but not blacken, you don't want to burn the butter. This takes time and you should swirl the pan occasionally to ensure the butter cooks evenly. The butter will begin to foam and turn from yellow to the toasted brown colour you are looking for, it will have a nutty aroma. Take the butter off the heat and pass through a fine sieve to strain off any sediment.
Place a large saucepan of salted boiling water on the hob and cook your pasta as per the instructions on the packet. Once cooked drain and reserve some of the cooking liquor for use in the sauce later.
In a large pan dry fry the pancetta and once crisp set aside onto a plate before adding the brown butter to the pan. Add the diced shallot and saute in the butter over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the pancetta back into the pan along with the roasted squash and the crushed garlic, stir for 3 minutes then push all the ingredients to the side of the pan and place the whole sage leaves into the butter in the middle. Saute till crisp and then remove from the pan.
Stir the cooked pasta through the sauce, along with a ladle or two of the cooking liquor to thicken the sauce and adjust the seasoning as prefered. Serve immediately with grated parmesan.
This recipe uses smoked pancetta to add flavour to the dish. However, if you are serving vegetarian diners, simply leave the pancetta out altogether.