I have been teasing you this week with tutorial posts, but now it all has finally come together with this creamy and so indulgent (and healthy) Autumn-style pasta dish. I honestly could eat this every..single..day.
Caramelized and earthy butternut squash , roasted to sweet perfection. Whole wheat pasta tossed with a creamy sauce of ricotta and Parmesan cheese to hold the season together. Salty pancetta is sauteed and added, offering a texture difference and that little bit of smokey bacon flavor that we all just love. And finally, the crowning glory to this sublime fall inspired dish- a topping of fried sage leaves; crisp and bright.
1/2lb Whole wheat fusilli or penne
1 c Low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2-1/4 c Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (I eyeball it, depends how much you want)
1 butternut squash, roasted and cut in 1 in cubes
1-2 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
Olive oil for drizzling
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Reserved pasta water
1) Start by getting your water boiling for your pasta. If you’re using wheat pasta, it will take longer than fresh or white.
2) Begin to heat another skillet and drizzle with olive oil. Add pancetta and begin to cook until pancetta starts to brown. About 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Don’t burn garlic.
3) When your pasta is done, use a ladel to add the pasta directly to the pancetta pan. It’s ok if some water is getting in-you want that! Turn heat on low.
4) Add ricotta and parmesan cheese and toss to combine. (I eyeball the cheese and look for how thick it is). If your sauce is too thick, use some of that starchy pasta water and add that in. I wound up using about 1/2 cup. Taste and season as needed.
5) Add your already cubed roasted butternut squash and toss to combine gently. Making sure everything is coated with creamy ricotta.
6) Finalize this luscious pasta dish with a few peices of crispy fried sage leaves.