Walnut, butternut squash and pancetta pansotti

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I have to admit I fell in love a bit with this recipe when I heard that pansotti means “pot bellies” in Italian!  I have also really been enjoying walnuts in pasta dishes lately – remember the post using California walnuts with the butternut squash and walnut sauce on homemade pasta?

I am so pleased Neil learned to make pasta at one of his Culinary Arts Italian cuisine classes – it’s amazing how easy it it is and it’s so satisfying!  We were fortunate enough to have the use of a pasta roller on loan from one of his colleagues and we set to using some ingredients we had on hand to make the little pot bellied pasta.

The filling is basically puréed butternut squash, toasted walnuts, pancetta and some parsley:

And I tried to make them as “belly-like” as possible…

They turned out marvellously – so flavourful and tasty with great texture from the walnuts.  I served them with a little olive oil drizzled over, some flat leaf parsley, grated parmesan and some crushed walnuts.  This recipe (or adaptations of it) is definitely a keeper.

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Walnut, butternut squash and pancetta pansotti filling

Recipe adapted from Epicurious (March 2002) Walnut and Pancetta Pansoti with Asparagus in Parmesan Broth

Ingredients
1 (3-ounce) piece pancetta (Italian unsmoked cured bacon; not lean), finely chopped (2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts (2 ounces), finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly black pepper to taste

Make pansotti filling:
Cut butternut squash in halves, oil and salt and pepper the cut halves.  Roast squash at 350F for about 45 minutes or until “scoopable”.  Scoop out flesh and set aside.

Cook pancetta in oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fat is rendered, 10 to 12 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is well browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a bowl. Stir in cooled butternut squash flesh, walnuts, parsley, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper into mixture in bowl. Cool filling.

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41 thoughts on “Walnut, butternut squash and pancetta pansotti”

  1. I have to say, with all the various squash we get in our organic delivery, it’s been a mini challenge right there to find new ways to use it — especially in the autumn and winter months when the squash deliveries are plentiful!

    This one is a delight, and I find very “summery”, in fact.

    Still experimenting with different pastas…look for my spinach one soon.

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  3. I should make some soon! Been awhile and since I have more work bench space, no more excuses for me

    Reply
  4. Oh my, does that look good. I also love squash or pumpkin ravioli, if they’re savory and not like pie filling. Yours sound perfect and I also love seeing the plump little belly. (Reminds me of my daughter…)

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  5. I did not realize how much of a flavor punch parsley makes to my italian dishes. Last night I had some roasted potatoes with lemon zest, garlic and parsley and the flavor simply floored me. You better believe that if I had a pasta machine (how much time to roll those suckers?) I’d be making these….have you ever tried drying them>

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  6. a) Yay! Neil cooks, too (and is taking classes to boot) and
    b) I’d love just about anything with pot belly in the name.

    These look fantastic. I know folks usually go for butternut squash in the fall, but it’s one of my favorite flavors all year round. Thanks for another great recipe, Mardi!

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  7. your pasta looks beautiful! i can’t imagine making homemade pasta – i’ll stick with my cheater’s wonton wrappers. 🙂

    Reply

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