by Karin Calloway
Crisp autumn air usually means you’ll see me with a butternut squash in my grocery cart. This sweet, orange winter squash just says “fall” to me and I like to serve it in soups, layered in lasagna or roasted as a side dish.
This recipe for White Bean and Butternut Squash Ragout takes roasted butternut squash a step further by pairing it with sautéed onion and pancetta, creamy white beans, chicken broth and an herbal accent from Herbes de Provence. The dish makes a delicious, hearty fall entrée, but I serve it most often as a base for roasted or grilled halibut or salmon.
Leftover ragout can be turned into a delicious soup. Simply add a cup or two of chicken broth and blend half of the soup in the blender. The soup is delicious served with a crisp green salad and cranberry muffins.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Use a chef’s knife to cut off the bottom and top of the butternut squash. Cut squash in two, at the point that the narrow part (neck) meets the rounded bottom. Cut bottom in half and scoop out seeds from both halves. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the squash quarters.
Cut squash into 1/2-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and roast for 15 minutes. Stir, and roast an additional 10 to 15 minutes longer, until squash is soft.
While squash roasts, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add pancetta and onion, and sauté until the onion is very soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Stir in white beans and turn off heat until squash are done.
Add squash to white beans, along with the chicken broth and herbes de Provence. Simmer, uncovered, until beans are heated through, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper, if needed.
Makes 6 servings.
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