Ina Garten’s latest book, Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, is becoming one of my favorite cookbooks for dinner ideas. There are so many things that I want to make, and I can’t wait to try it! The other night I made roasted chicken, and thought this butternut squash dish would be a perfect side. I know butternut squash is usually a more fall-ish dish, but I really wanted some, and decided to make it anyway :) I have only had butternut squash once before. It was around holiday time a little over a year ago, and I don’t even remember how it was prepared; I just remember that I really liked it. Preparing the squash is really easy, and it helps to have a strong, sturdy knife for the job.
We really loved this. The maple flavoring was perfect, and the simple seasonings really brought out the flavor. The addition of bacon or pancetta also adds a great depth to the dish. I didn’t have pancetta, so I decided to just use the bacon that I already had on hand. Roasting the squash gave it a nice, tender texture. I ended up eating more of this than the chicken, and I thing it would be a great main dish on its own. We are already planning on making this a part of our Thanksgiving menu. We both decided that we should make eating butternut squash a more regular event!
Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash
1 large butternut squash
1 head garlic, separated but not peeled
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 ½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped (I used bacon)
16 whole fresh sage leaves (I subbed dried)
French Bread, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Peel and seed the butternut squash and then cut it into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes. Place the squash and the whole unpeeled garlic cloves on a sheet pan in one layer. Toss with the olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the squash begins to brown, turning once during baking.
Sprinkle the pancetta and the sage leaves evenly over the butternut squash and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the squash and garlic are tender and caramelized. Season to taste and serve hot with French bread for guests to spread with the roasted garlic.
Source: Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics by Ina Garten
Filed under: side dishes