A few months ago, my friend, the wildly talented food blogger, Adri Barr Crocetti, sent me the link for Delverde’s “Dish Your Blog” recipe challenge. The artisanal pasta company is based in Fara San Martino, on the other side of the Majella mountain from my village of Salle. Delverde has been my preferred pasta brand for years and I commonly see packages of Delverde pasta lining the pantry shelves of my discerning neighbors in Abruzzo as well.
Inspired by a pasta dish I enjoyed in Florence this past summer, I selected Delverde’s Pappardelle Nests and paired the wide pasta ribbons with a condimento of sweet roasted butternut squash, salty pancetta, sautéed shallots and fresh sage. I finished the dish with a little trick I learned from a trattoria on the Oltrarno – a dollop of mascarpone. The Italian cream cheese gently marries the sauce to the pasta without the weightiness or “milky” taste of heavy cream. It’s a lovely and luscious homage to fall flavors and would work equally well with Delverde’s Rigatoni or Mezzi Rigatoni. Buon appetito!
Pappardelle with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pancetta, Mascarpone & Crispy Sage
Recipe by Majella Home Cooking ©
- One 1½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- 12 whole sage leaves
- 1 package of Delverde N°83 Pappardelle Nests (250 g)
- 3 ounces diced pancetta
- 2 shallots, very thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of mascarpone
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
Preheat the oven to 425°. On a medium, rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone liner or parchment paper, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a teaspoon of salt. Roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing once, until lightly browned and tender.
While the butternut squash is roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. At the same time, in a large skillet over moderate heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the sage leaves and fry until crisp, about 20 seconds. Gently transfer the sage leaves with a fork to a plate lined with paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt and set aside.
To the skillet, add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, stirring often, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta from the skillet and set aside. (Doing so will prevent the pancetta from becoming too chewy.) Next, add the shallots, ½ teaspoon of salt and several grindings of black pepper to the skillet and cook until the shallots are soft and caramelized, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the reserved pancetta and roasted squash to the skillet and set aside while you cook the pasta.
When the pasta water reaches a boil, cook the Delverde Pappardelle Nests for 5 minutes (two minutes less than indicated by the package instructions as you’ll finish cooking the pasta “in padella” – in the pan – along with the sauce). Drain, reserving one cup of the cooking water.
To the skillet, add the pasta and reserved cooking water and cook over moderate heat, tossing gently, until the sauce is thickened and the pasta is al dente, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Turn off the heat, stir in the mascarpone and gently toss until it is incorporated throughout. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl or to individual bowls and top with the crispy sage leaves. Serve the pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Buon appetito!
This recipe is posted as an entry in the Delverde DISH YOUR BLOG recipe contest to try to win a trip to NYC. Some entrants may have received free sample products in addition to the opportunity to compete for the prize.