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Butternut Squash, Serrano and Thyme Pappardelle


Butternut Squash, Serrano and Thyme Papardelle 225x325First day of fall rain - teenagers to soccer, hockey, and lining-up-all-night for first crack at the new iPhone 6.  What to make to sustain them?  This dish was pure comfort, and quick and easy!  Would make a spectacular primo course for Thanksgiving.

Lucky for us, we had amazing olive oil to dress this dish. Our friend Frank owns an olive farm in Umbria, Italy, that produces gorgeous artisanal organic olive oil - Domenica Fiore's Olio Reserva, judged best olive oil in the world 2014 and 2013 by the prestigious New York International Olive Oil Competition.  Always, use only excellent quality oil to finish and garnish.

  • 1 large butternut squash (4lbs / 1.8 kg or so), yielding 8-10 cups of 3/4-inch cubes
  • 300 grams thinly sliced fine-quality Serrano ham from Spain (or prosciutto)
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, yielding 1-2 cups of fine dice
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup ( 4 T or 62 ml) excellent quality extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • juice and rind of one large organic lemon
  • four large pinches of chili flakes (scant teaspoon)
  • 1.5 lbs (900 gr) pappardelle pasta - fresh or dried
  • aged parmigiano reggiano, to shave for garnish
  • salt to taste (adjsut according to saltiness of the ham)

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Preparation Time (min)



preheat oven to 400F (200C).

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, carefully.  Peel and discard seeds and pulp.  Cut flesh into cubes of about 3/4-inch square.  Peel and finely dice the onion, slice the ham or prosciutto into fine ribbons, mince the garlic, finely grate the zest from the lemon and then juice it, strip the thyme sprigs and rough-chop the leaves.  Toss the squash, onion, garlic, and lemon in a large bowl with the olive oil and chili flakes, ensuring the squash is well coated.

Divide the mixture among two half-sheet pans or cookie sheets with sides, and sprinkle the ribbons of meat overtop, separating the strands as you go.  Roast for 45 minutes or so, until golden and very slightly browned and al dente (not mushy), using a spatula to move around a bit every 15 minutes.  After 30 minutes, put some sea-salted water on to boil for your pasta, and sprinkle the chopped thyme overtop of the mixture, turning the heat down to 375F.

Loosen the roasted squash from the pan with a few splashes of olive oil, season with salt if needed, and toss the mixture with hot, drained pasta.  Garnish sparingly with oil, thyme leaves and curls of aged parmigiano reggiano.


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