Sometimes I think the best recipes come from my biggest fails. This Butternut Squash, Prosciutto and Walnut Pasta recipe is definitely one of those…
I was planning on making Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Pappardelle with Squash and Sage from his brilliant recipe book Hugh’s Three Good Things. It was about an hour before dinner when I realised I didn’t actually have any sage (yes I know, a recipe with only three main ingredients and I managed to forget one of them!) With two small children happily watching their meagre daily allowance of television, I knew there was no chance of quickly jumping in the car to go to the shops (especially as with small children a quick 10 minute trip is more like an hour’s round trip and there is a limit on how late I can make dinner without risking them falling asleep in it!)
So instead I scoured my cupboards for things I thought might go with pappardelle and squash and discovered: dried chilli flakes, a packet of prosciutto which needed to be used up as it was nearly out of date and some walnuts I had bought to make a coffee and walnut cake. I added these into the roasting tray about 10 minutes before the squash was ready and managed to make for myself a recipe that was quicker and easier than Hugh’s and, well I’ve no idea just how tasty Hugh’s recipe is because I haven’t got round to trying it yet, but let’s just say my version tasted pretty amazing so Hugh’s got his work cut out!!
This is set to become a firm family favourite, I’m sure!
Butternut Squash, Prosciutto and Walnut Pasta
- 1 kg butternut squash peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
- 6 cloves garlic gently squashed (but not peeled)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 50 g walnuts crumbled
- 6 slices prosciutto roughly torn
- ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 250 g pappardelle or any other pasta shape you fancy
- Grated parmesan to serve
- Preheat the oven to 190C.
- Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of a large roasting tray along with a few twists of salt and pepper.
- Tip the chunks of butternut squash and the slightly squashed garlic cloves into the tray and turn them in the oil – I find it easiest to do this with my hands!
- Put the butternut squash into the oven for 30 minutes. After about 15 minutes take the butternut squash out of the oven and turn to ensure the butternut squash gets evenly cooked. (Don’t use your hands this time, though! I use a large spoon.) Roast for a further 15 minutes.
- After the butternut squash has been cooking for 30 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and add the dried chilli flakes, walnuts and prosciutto and turn everything in the oil. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until the prosciutto is crisp but not burnt.
- After you have popped the tray back in the oven cook your pasta according to the packet instructions / your own preferences.
- Drain the pasta when it is ready and add the butternut squash and prosciutto mixture. Drizzle in some more olive oil and mix everything together gently.
- Serve with some grated parmesan sprinkled on top.