Crispy pancetta, roasted delicata squash, and creamy goat cheese tossed with caramelized onions and wilted kale. This simple pasta is packed with savory, autumn flavor.
Squash season is here! There are so many beautiful squash varieties filling the markets right now. One of my all-time favorites is delicata. It’s so simple to cut up and unlike other varieties, you don’t need to peel it.
The squash, pancetta and sage roast together on a baking tray. As everything bakes, the slow-rendering fat from the pancetta melts into the squash infusing it with salty pork flavor. The sage becomes herbaceous and shatteringly crisp. The flavors and smells are pretty fantastic!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s everything you need to make this recipe: delicata squash, any short-cut pasta, pancetta, butter, olive oil, sage (or rosemary), onion and goat cheese.
- Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly very similar to bacon. If your grocery store doesn’t carry pancetta substitute bacon instead.
- Delicata Squash is one of my favorites! If you would like to substitute a different squash you could use butternut, acorn, kabocha, or even diced sweet potato.
- Sage rosemary or thyme all work well in this recipe.
Recipe Step by Step
Step 1. Roast the squash
Remember when I mentioned earlier that the oven does most of the work for you? This is what I meant! Arrange the squash, pancetta and sage leaves on a baking tray and bake until the pancetta is crisp and the squash is golden brown and tender.
Step 2. Caramelize the Onions and Cook the Pasta
While the squash is roasting caramelize the onions in a large skillet. If you need a refresher on caramelizing onions – see here. At the same time get the pasta boiling. Add the freshly cooked pasta, chopped kale and a splash of pasta water to the skillet. Toss to combine.
Step 3. Toss Everything Together and Serve
Add the roasted squash, sage leaves and pancetta to the skillet. Toss to combine. Crumble in the goat cheese – taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls and serve!
- Eat the skin of delicata squash? Yes! That is one of the reasons I love it so much. Delicata squash skin roasts beautifully and is absolutely delicious
- Use bacon instead of pancetta? Pancetta is and Italian cured pork belly very similar to bacon. If your grocery store doesn’t carry pancetta substitute bacon instead
- Substitute a different type of squash? Yes, if you would like to substitute a different type of winter squash you could use butternut, acorn, kabocha, or even diced sweet potato.
Check out More Delicious Fall and Winter Recipes
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The Perfect Fall Pasta
- 2 medium delicata squash halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz sliced pancetta or bacon
- 8-10 large sage leaves or three sprigs rosemary
- 1 lb short cut pasta any shape
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 bunch kale stems removed and thinly sliced
- 4 oz goat cheese
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a baking tray with parchment or a silicone mat. Arrange the squash on the prepared tray in a single layer. Toss with salt, pepper and olive oil then scatter the sliced pancetta and sage leaves on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through, until the squash is tender and caramelized and the pancetta is crispy.
- While the squash is roasting melt the butter in a large skillet over medium/high heat then add in the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and starting to turn translucent, about 5 minutes, season with a good pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook the onions, stirring every few minutes to prevent them from sticking. Continue stirring and cooking the onions until they are golden brown and caramelized.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
- Add the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water to the caramelized onions followed by the chopped kale, roasted squash, pancetta and sage. Toss to combine. Just before serving, fold in the goat cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls, serve immediately.
- Delicata Squash: Any winter squash can be substituted for delicata; butternut, acorn, kabocha etc.
- Pancetta: Bacon will work just as well.
- Goat Cheese: Crumbled feta, grated parmesan or even dollops of fresh ricotta would be lovely!
- Kale: any hearty green will do; swiss chard, spinach or arugula.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pot, on the stove over medium-low heat.