I love, love, love the flavor combination of the salty Italian meat with the sweet maple syrup. Top that with hot, roasted garlic and this is a side dish that your family and friends will request for years to come.
It also warms up your kitchen with savory aromas and promises garlic breath for all, without apology.
Looking for a Thanksgiving side that will impress? This butternut squash is a classic recipe never to be messed with — er, except in this case when I forgot to pick up fresh sage leaves and used parsley in its place (shh! don’t tell!).
Disclaimer: If you make this butternut squash dish and share it with others, they will expect you to make it at least twice during the holidays and every Thanksgiving. 🙂
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 head of garlic, separated but not peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 ounces pancetta or prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 16 fresh sage leaves (I didn’t have this on hand, so I used 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley)
- French bread for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
- Place cubed squash and unpeeled garlic cloves on the baking sheet — toss with oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Turn the squash as best as you can with a spatula (warning: it’s very easy to make a mess of your oven doing this, so turn squash slowly).
- Sprinkle pancetta or prosciutto and sage leaves (or parsley in my case) and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the squash and garlic are tender and caramelized.
- Serve hot as a side or with French bread for diners to spread with the roasted garlic.