Thirty Minute Thursday: Fusilli with Butternut squash and Pancetta~

27 01 2011

I’ve cooked a lot of Giuliano Hazan’s recipes from Thirty Minute Pasta this week.  I don’t know if it’s because of time constraints or being budget conscious, but we sure have been eating well!  LOL!   My husband says he always eats the best when our budget is tight…I wonder what that means?  Without regard, before the winter gets away from us, I really wanted to try a recipe using butternut squash.  This one really caught my eye!

Fusilli with Butternut Squash and Pancetta was a really easy recipe that might just come in a few minutes under 3o minutes!  Although this is my first experience using butternut squash with pasta, I was quite pleased with the results, and the recipe got the rating of “Keeper!” on our list.  The pancetta provides just enough spice and salt for the dish, and the butternut comes out being buttery and nutty…a rich, primarily vegan meal for sure.  Sacrifice the pancetta and you’re there.  The squash simmers and softens while the pasta cooks…couldn’t be easier!

The fusilli is a great choice (also known as rotini or corkscrews) because the ridges in the pasta grab onto the sauce so you get a little almost sweet, buttery sauce in each and every bite.  It’s also a beautiful color!  This would make a gorgeous Autumn dish!  Hazan’s directions are so easy to follow.  He guides you every minute of the way!

Tasting Notes~
We really did enjoy this dish.  I’d like to try it with some of the other, firm winter squash varieties.  The butternut was just wonderful…but I have a load of acorn squash to use!  I think the acorn squash is too fibrous for this application.  Other orange squashes might work ok, such as banana squash…certainly pumpkin!  The butternut cooked down to a smooth consistency with no trouble at all, and the sauce was completed almost before I knew I’d gotten started.  Don’t hesitate to snitch a little of the pasta cooking water if your squash cooks dry too quickly…it helps the squash mash more smoothly.  A little texture is good, so don’t get too carried away trying to smooth it out completely.  I’d make this recipe again without hesitation…and soon!

Look Who’s Cooking…
You should really visit Kayte at Grandma’s Kitchen Table…  She created Spaghetti ai Gamberi, Pomodoro e Capperi (Spaghetti with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Capers) for her dish this week!  And it’s beautiful!  I haven’t made this particular dish yet, but Kayte says, “Simply delicious, definitely a repeat.”  That works for me!

Another Blog-Chef who’s cooking the same book, Abby of Stir it! Scrape it! Bake it!, has created Rigatoni with onions, pancetta, and pecorino. I know this one is good!  I’ve made it a few times when I’ve already had pancetta in the house.

Please don’t hesitate to join us here!  If Thursday isn’t your 30 Minute day, that’s not a problem!  I just gather the posts to post on Thursday.  My actual 30 minute day is almost always Tuesday.  That doesn’t stop me from picking up Thirty Minute Pasta other times though!  LOL!  Just drop a post, or email me (the link is on the sidebar) to let me know that your post is  up with your URL and I’ll link you up!  No desperately hard and fast rules here…I just want to enjoy cooking and eating the food!