Craving an easy, light and healthy pasta dish? Well, this orecchiette pasta with crispy pancetta, sweet and buttery butternut squash and broccoli will no doubt satisfy! I serve it in bowls with extra Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts and a glass of sauvignon blanc 😉 .
Happy Monday! I hope you all are recovering well after yesterday’s game and food coma? I’ll be honest, today I have zero desire to shop for food, cook food or even look at food. I’m food-ed out. Like big time. Dinner tonight might be grilled cheese.
Thinking that you may be feeling the same, I wanted to share an easy, scrumptious and light pasta dish for days when you just can’t even.
What I love most about this orecchiette pasta dish is that if you’re in a time crunch, you can totally grab the pre-chopped/diced/measured stuff. For example, in the produce section at my local grocery store, they have a section of fresh short-cut ingredients that are either already diced, sliced or pre-cut. Which I take full advantage of from time to time, and this recipe is one I can use those in.
To Make This Orecchiette Pasta You Will Need:
- butternut squash (or about 11 ounces)
- broccoli florets
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- dried orecchiette pasta (regular or whole wheat)
- diced pancetta
- fresh garlic
- fresh thyme
- dry white wine (like sauvignon blanc)
- low-sodium chicken broth or more if desired
- heavy cream
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- toasted pine nuts
Although I did chop my own broccoli florets, I did purchase a package of pre-diced butternut squash (Thanks Kroger!) and the pre-diced pancetta. I also didn’t need to buy a whole butternut squash, so doing it this way is such a time saver and I’m not ashamed to love it.
Place 2 to 3 cups each butternut squash and broccoli on two separate baking sheets. Quarter sheet pans work great here! Then drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and season with kosher salt.
Roast the squash at 425° for about 20 minutes rotating the pan halfway during roasting. Once done remove the pan and set off to the side, then crank the heat to 500°. One preheated to the new temperature, slide the pan of broccoli in and roast for 8 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Then remove and set off to the side.
Meanwhile (while the vegetables are roasting) bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook 3/4 pound of the orecchiette pasta according to package directions. Also, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 4 ounces pancetta to a large 12-inch skillet and heat on medium. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the pancetta is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
When pasta is al dente, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain into a colander set into your sink.
Then add the garlic, stir and cook 1 minute.
Next add in 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme and 1/4 cup white wine and cook until reduced by half.
Next pour in 1/2 cup of low-sodium chicken broth and 2 tablespoons heavy cream.
Now quickly add in the cooked pasta, roasted butternut squash, broccoli and pancetta.
Then toss with 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan and if needed pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water
Lastly, serve with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts and MORE grated Parmesan.
This orecchiette pasta is inspired by a dish I had in Utah last fall. It’s wonderful as a light main dish or as a side dish to grilled chicken or salmon. Not much of a sauce here, just flavor and deliciousness. And leftovers reheat beautifully.
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Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta, Butternut Squash and Broccoli
- 2 cups diced butternut squash, or about 11 ounces
- 2½ cups broccoli florets
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- 3/4 pound orecchiette pasta, regular or whole wheat
- 4 ounces finely diced pancetta
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, like sauvignon blanc
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, or more if desired
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, (see notes)
- Preheat your oven to 425° and place the butternut squash and broccoli on two separate rimmed, metal sheet pans (quarter sheet pans work great for this). Drizzle with olive oil and toss with a pinch or two of kosher salt.
- Roast the squash for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until tender. Remove, set aside and increase heat to 500°. One preheated, slide the broccoli in and roast for 8 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove and set off to the side.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, add in the pasta and cook following the package directions. Once cooked, reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining pasta.
- Add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the pancetta into a large, 12-inch skillet. Heat on medium and cook the pancetta until crispy, about 10 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add in the thyme and wine and cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Add in the broth and cream and stir.
- Immediately add in the pasta, squash, broccoli and pancetta. Stir in the Parmesan and season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Serve with toasted pine nuts and more Parmesan cheese.
HOW TO TOAST PINE NUTS:Add pine nuts into a small skillet. Heat on medium to medium-low until fragrant and lightly golden brown. About 8 minutes.
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