Butternut Squash with Crispy Pancetta, Shallots and Ricotta Salata

Inspired from a recipe in Daniel Humm's cookbook, I Love NY, Sarah Bolla pairs butternut squash with pancetta and ricotta salata for a great combination of flavors.

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  • Servings: 4

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Ingredients

  • 6 slices pancetta
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/2-inch thick
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 sprigs thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, sliced into 1/8-inch rings
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata cheese, grated into thin shavings
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the pancetta on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until the pancetta is crisp and the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Remove the pieces from the sheet and place onto a surface lined with a paper towel. Reserve as much of the rendered fat as possible from the sheet tray and pour into a large sauté pan and set aside. Return the parchment paper to the same tray and set aside.
  2. Peel the butternut squash and cut lengthwise into whole slices about 1/2-inch thick. Scoop out the seeds and fibrous parts from each whole squash slice.
  3. Heat the large sauté pan with the rendered pancetta fat over medium heat, and sauté each slice until lightly caramelized, about 3 to 4 minutes on one side. Turn the butternut slices and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Add the butter, half of the thyme leaves, and sliced shallots to the pan. Baste the squash with the butter for 1 minute. Transfer the slices and shallots to the parchment lined baking sheet and bake until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and set the squash and caramelized shallots onto a serving platter. Scatter the crispy pancetta slices over each steak and grate the ricotta salata into thin shavings over the tops. Season with thyme leaves and freshly cracked black pepper.
Contributed By Photo © Sarah Bolla Published September 2014

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