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Playing Penne with Brown Butter and Squash Sauce and Crispy Prosciutto


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 20 leaves fresh sage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds kabocha or butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound sliced prosciutto, pancetta or bacon
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Serves: 4


Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Heat large skillet over medium heat, add butter and melt. Add sage leaves, cook to light golden and crisp then remove—the butter will be brown and nutty. Add onions, garlic, squash and stock, bring to a boil then cover and cook to tender, about 15 minutes. Purée with an immersion blender until very smooth.

Bake prosciutto or bacon on a parchment-lined baking sheet until crisp, 8-12 minutes.
Salt water and cook pasta to 1 minute shy of al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup water and drain. Add pasta to sauce along with the starchy water and a few handfuls of grated cheese; toss to coat and adjust seasoning.
Serve pasta topped with crispy sage and pieces of prosciutto or bacon with more cheese passed at the table.


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