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.
Preheat your oven to 425℉ (or 220℃).
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 for about 20 minutes rotating the pan halfway during roasting. Once done remove the pan and set off to the side, then increase the heat to 500℉ (or 260℃) . 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.
Pour in 1/4 cup white wine and cook until reduced by half.
Next pour in 1/2 cup of low-sodium chicken broth.
Then pour in 2 tablespoons heavy cream.
Add in cooked pasta.
lastly add the 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.
For More Pasta Recipes Click Here!
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℉ (or 220℃).
- 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 the heat to 500℉ (or 260℃).
- 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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