Butternut Squash Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Butternut Squash Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Ok guys – let’s chat for a minute about the horrors of nature. HORRORS. Yes, there is also a lot of beauty and wonder, but have you watched a Planet Earth lately!? Etienne has been watching these nature documentaries the past few evenings, and I have to look away for 60% of it. Nature is cruel. It’s like a horror movie for me. Did you know that in Barbados thousands of baby turtles get trapped every year in the streets? It literally haunted me…..#savetheturtles.

In less distressing news, this butternut squash pasta is easily the most comforting dish I’ve had in a while. Soft, warm, noodles smothered in a thick, velvety, cheesy sauce with a hint of rich squash flavour and topped with salty, crispy prosciutto. YUM!

I’ve been a fan of butternut squash mac n’ cheese for a long time now, but my love for it went to a whole other level when I combined this deliciousness with my favourite cured ham. Plus – it’s easy and nutritious! Nothing puts a smile on my face like feeding my unsuspecting children a whopping dose of vegetables.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

The whole recipe only takes about 30 minutes! I like to prep ahead of time by peeling and slicing the butternut squash in advance; saving the seeds is optional, but highly recommended! If you like roasted pumpkin seeds at Halloween time – guess what? Roasted butternut squash seeds taste pretty much identical, just smaller! Etienne thinks they taste like wood chips so – more for me!

The squash will take about 20 minutes to cook in simmering stock, which is the perfect amount of time to cook up some rigatoni and bake the prosciutto in the oven. I like to use rigatoni for this recipe because I love how the large round noodles capture so much of the thick, creamy, sauce. Feel free to use another type of noodle but be sure to use about 4 cups of pasta to ensure you have the right ratio of sauce to starch.

The prosciutto – you’ve GOT to try crisping it up in the oven. It’s life changing! Thin, light, crispy, and salty – it’s like your dream piece of bacon that comes together with no mess, no fuss and in only 8 minutes. Word of advice – don’t prepare it TOO far in advance or you’ll end up eating the entire pan!

Do you own an immersion blender? It makes blending up soups and sauces SO easy – this is the one I own. I love it! If you don’t have one, a regular blender will do just fine! It will just make for one more thing to clean.

Noodles, sauce, prosciutto, done. It’s comfort and fall all in one cheesy saucepan. The dish also makes for some amazing leftovers!!Β  Not that you’re likely to have any πŸ˜‰

Butternut Squash Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Butternut Squash Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Butternut Squash Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4-6 servings

A thick, cheesy, velvety sauce with a hint of rich squash smothers a bed of pasta topped with crispy prosciutto. A cozy dish, perfect for fall!Β 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 3 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups dry rigatoni (or other pasta)
  • 100 g prosciutto
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • optional:Β roasted butternut squash seeds

Instructions

  1. Peel and cube a butternut squash, reserving the seeds and measuring out approximately 3 1/2 cups.Β 
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the garlic and onion, sautΓ©ing until the onion is soft and translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the cubed squash and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer the squash for 15-20 minutes, covered, or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork.Β 
  3. While the squash is simmering, begin boiling the water for the pasta. Cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Rinse and drain.Β 
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the prosciutto in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake the prosciutto for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp. Set aside. This is also when I typically roast the squash seeds, for about 10 minutes, while the oven is still hot.
  5. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender in small batches, blend the squash and brothΒ  mixture until most large chunks are pureed. Return the sauce to the sauce pan over low heat, and slowly stir in the milk, followed by the cheese. Add the drained pasta and toss to combine. Crumble the baked prosciutto over the top of the dish and serve, topping with roasted butternut squash seeds if desired.

Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container, sealed, in the fridge for 3-4 days.

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28 Comments

  1. This totally looks like a fall comfort meal! Pasta, squash, and prosciutto! Can’t go wrong with that combo. And I just love the crispy prosciutto on top! I really need to try that the next time I make pasta! Happy Friday Katherine!

  2. I can’t wait to make this meanwhile I’ll be thinking of how to #savetheturtles

  3. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    UMMMM yes! (To both the horrors of Mother Nature and this pasta.) I watched one of those docs once and there were lions preying on zebras (or something) and I had to get up and walk away right then. It’s so sad! I wish animals could all just be cuddly and sweet and vegetarian. This sauce looks so creamy and delicious and I just want to eat my feelings with a big bowl of it right now :). Have a great weekend, Katherine!

    • AAAH yes I feel like that might have been the episode that turned me off totally. So true – why can’t they all just be friends? πŸ˜‰ Reality sucks! I think you should whip it up and eat those feelings up Kelsie. Thank you!! Enjoy your weekend too, friend!

  4. Looks so yummy and creamy! I need to get an immersion blender! Love the prosciutto on top πŸ™‚ xoxo

  5. Perfect timing for perfect ingredients ! Thank you dear !

  6. I love butternut squash all the things and crispy prosciutto is LIFE!! Needless to say this pasta is right up my alley!! Seriously, I want to just live in a bowl of this deliciousness… which is totally normal. Right? πŸ˜‰ I mean, with all the craziness in the world (and in nature), living in a bowl of cozy pasta just seems like the right thing to do!! Gimme gimme! Cheers, girl!

  7. This looks so comforting yet healthy and that golden color looks so beautiful. The salty prosciutto with buttersnut squash sounds so delicious Kathy!

  8. That stuff is hard to watch sometimes!! But crispy prosciutto and butternut squash pasta? That is easy to look at and even easier to eat πŸ˜‰ That’s one bowl of comfort right there, which is exactly what Monday calls for πŸ™‚ Have a good one, my friend!

  9. Ben|Havocinthekitchen

    I love documentaries too, but I haven’t watched any for a while. Last year I watched a series named 100 the most dangerous animals of Australia (I might confuse the number). And you now what? Australia has never been #1 on my bucketlist because of all these spiders, snakes, and other lovely creatures, but having finished that documentary, I’m not sure at all I would ever visit it. I’m so happy you’re not presenting a dangerous recipe πŸ™‚ Indeed, it looks and sounds utterly delicious, Katherine!

    • Haha!! Ben, you’re in good company. I HATE spiders so, so much. And all bugs, for that matter. I visited Australia 4 years ago, and guess what? Etienne and I were walking down a dark sidewalk one night and…I STEPPED on a snake. I was wearing sandals too, so I am incredibly lucky to have not been bitten. So, as beautiful as it was, I have complete understanding for your lack of desire to ever visit. Snakes aside, YES. This is far from a dangerous recipe πŸ˜‰ Cheers!

  10. The Home Cook's Kitchen

    noooo not the baby turtles! I am actually a total Planet Earth nerd, must be the reason I’m a geography teacher! This pasta looks perfect!!! ah so excited to have an excuse to sit on my butt eating comfort food and hibernating this winter!

  11. My brother loves all pasta dishes..and he hates squash…This is such a great recipe to make for him! It’s creamy,cheesy and so perfect with that crispy prosciutto on the top!

  12. I seriously don’t know if it could possibly get better than this. Perfect “weather getting cold and I need some cozies” food! πŸ™‚

  13. Pasta is my jam and crispy prosciutto takes it to a whole ‘nother level!! This has comfort written all over it….and I’m all about that these days! We’re ready for you winter!! πŸ™‚

  14. such a cozy, comforting dish Katherine! I love that crispy prosciutto!

  15. Oh boy this is everything my comfort craving self is in need of today!! That crispy prosciutto just wraps it all up beautifully! Take care. πŸ˜‰

  16. This looks delish! I love that you used my two favorite ingredients – Squash & Garlic. Printed and put in my recipe binder for future dinners.

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