This recipe comes from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. I’m not a huge fan of squash, but the whole family, myself included, love this. I have a vegetarian daughter so I have gotten into the habit of leaving out the pancetta, and it’s still really really good.
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¾- to 1-inch cubes. I’m fortunate that the farm stand down the street sells butternut squash already peeled and seeded – saves sooo much time.
- 1 head garlic, separated but not peeled
- 2 TBL good olive oil
- 2½ TBL pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- [optional] 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped ← I leave this out now, it adds another taste dimension, but then is not vegetarian friendly
- 16 whole fresh sage leaves ← I use a ton more
- [optional] French bread, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place the squash and the whole unpeeled garlic cloves on a sheet pan in one layer
- Toss with the olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the squash begins to brown, turning once during baking
- Sprinkle the pancetta and the sage leaves evenly over the butternut squash and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the squash and garlic are tender and caramelized
- Season to taste and serve hot with French bread for guests to spread with the roasted garlic