Sunday Supper...Pasta Al Forno With Pumpkin and Pancetta

Wow!  What a week.  I sincerely hope if you are a fellow blogger you never wake up one morning to discover that you cannot access your blog and your domain name has been listed for auction at a ridiculous price.  To say that the last week was stressful is putting it mildly.  But thankfully that is behind us now and I'm looking forward to a wonderful Sunday Supper…

We absolutely love pasta at our house.  A few years ago while visiting in New York we had a fabulous pumpkin ravioli with butter sage sauce at Balthazar, one of our favorite restaurants.  The combination of the pumpkin, pasta and sage was incredible.  I follow a lot of food blogs and recently stumbled upon

Food 52

.  Their recipe for Pasta Al Forno with Pumkin and Pancetta is fast becoming our new favorite.

Pasta Al Forno with Pumpkin and Pancetta

Here's what you'll need to make this incredible pasta:

One 3-4 pound cheese pumpkin or butternut squash

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

¼ pound pancetta, diced

1 pound conchiglie rigate (shells)

2 cups heavy cream

¼ pound shredded fresh mozzarella

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano

½ cup fontina, coarsely grated

¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola

2 tablespoons ricotta

2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Cut the pumpkin into 8 equal wedges and arrange on two baking sheets lined with foil. Sprinkle the wedges with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for about an hour, until the pumpkin is caramelized and tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can handle the pumpkin.

In the meantime, crisp the pancetta in a medium saucepan over medium heat, about 10 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels, discarding the fat.

Turn the oven up to 500 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for exactly 5 minutes, drain and run cool water over it for about 10 seconds. Set aside in the colander.

Scoop enough of the cooked pumpkin from the rind to make 2 cups. Combine this with the cream in a blender and puree just until smooth (be careful not to over-blend, or you’ll whip the cream). Scoop out some more of the pumpkin (you probably won’t need the whole thing) and chop roughly to make about a cup and a half.

Combine the pumpkin and cream puree with the cheeses, salt, thyme and pancetta in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. Add the pasta and the chopped pumpkin and fold together just until combined.

Spread the pasta evenly in a casserole or baking dish. Bake uncovered for 7 to 10 minutes, until the top is browned and the bottom layer of pasta is just tender.

We're all cozy tonight.  Everything is back to normal and life is certainly good.  Thanks to all of you who have called and E-mailed.  Your kindness means more than you will ever know.  How was your week?  Have you settled in for the evening yet?

It's your turn.  Let's talk!!

Recipe courtesy of Food 52. Photos courtesy of This Is Glamorous, Tartanscot, Food 52