- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices pancetta, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 cups kabocha squash puree
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 12 ounces fettuccine or linguine pasta
- 1/2 cup milk, as needed
- 1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese, divided
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook onions until tender, about 5 minutes, then stir in garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes. Stir in squash puree and heat through; season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, according to package directions, until al dente. Drain.
Toss pasta in squash mixture, adding enough milk to create a sauce; heat through. Stir in half the cheese and check seasoning. Divide pasta between four plates and sprinkle with remaining cheese and crisped pancetta. Serve immediately.
While the sweetness of kabocha is delicious in this recipe, feel free to substitute an equal amount of puree from any winter squash.