Tis the season for winter squashes, but how do you prepare them without getting into a rut?

This recipe is a favorite of mine that I came up with on one of those “clean-out-the-refrigerator” days and has turned into something that I crave in the Winter and Fall and love to serve to guests.

It can be prepared as a side item, or with slight modifications can be a hearty main course. Read on for how to make this simple, but stunning dish!


1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (sometimes you can even find this already done for you in the refrigerated produce section!)

6 fresh sage leaves

½ lg. pancetta, diced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup white wine

½ to ¾ cup chicken broth

½ cup shredded Parmesan Reggiano cheese

Heat a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Brown the pancetta over medium-low heat until  browned and starting to crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. If there aren’t many drippings, add another drizzle of olive oil, the melt the butter in the pan. Drop in the fresh sage leaves and let them cook for about 2 minutes, then remove from pan and set aside with the pancetta to go back in later. Add the cubed butternut squash to the pan and sauté in the butter and olive oil until starting to brown on all sides. De-glaze the pan with white wine and cook until most of the wine has reduced. Stir in enough chicken broth to come almost halfway up the depth of the squash, cover, reduce heat to low-medium-low until the squash is just fork-tender. Remove the lid, crumble sage leaves into pan and stir in the pancetta and Parmesan cheese. Cook until the sauce has thickened and reduced to a glaze before serving.

To make into a heartier main dish… Increase the chicken broth to 1 cup, stir in a de-boned, shredded rotisserie chicken before covering and simmering and toss with a pasta such as an Oriechette that will hold the sauce. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan when serving.