Something funny hit me at lunch yesterday, and it wasn’t a whipped cream pie. As I’ve said, lately my appetite hasn’t been what it was, especially in the earlier hours of the day. Except, I discovered to my relief, if it’s really garlicky. Like the amazing pizza that set my mouth to watering…

So armed with that knowledge, I’d like to share this fabulous side dish that Mama Rubi made for dinner just last night (we had it with roasted pork loin), and which the whole Familia Rubi wolfed down as if there was no tomorrow. Next time, she’s going to double the recipe. You may want to do likewise.

Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 head garlic separated but not peeled
  • 2 Tbsp. good olive oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta chopped
  • 16 whole fresh sage leaves
  • French bread for serving

Preheat oven to 400°. Peel and seed butternut squash and then cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes. Place squash and whole unpeeled garlic cloves in a baking dish or sheet pan large enough to hold them all in one layer. Toss with olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until squash begins to brown, turning once during baking.

Sprinkle pancetta and sage leaves evenly over squash and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until 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