Look for local butternut squash and root vegetables at the last of the season's farmers' markets. For the guanciale, visit Salume Beddu on South Hampton Avenue, where they cure all their meats and salume according to Old World Sicilian standards.
Serves | 8 |
- ¼ lb Salume Beddu guanciale, thinly sliced
- 1 butternut squash, 2 to 3 lbs, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 bunch sage, washed and thoroughly dried, leaves removed from stems
| Preparation | Preheat oven to 400°F. Place guanciale slices on baking sheet and roast until crispy, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove guanciale from pan and place on paper towel to drain, saving the rendered drippings from the pan. Toss squash cubes in 2 Tbsp guanciale drippings and place on same sheet pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 25 minutes, or until squash begins to get brown on edges and soft throughout.
Over medium-high heat, place olive oil in a 6-quart sauce pot. Sauté carrots, onion and potato for 5 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Add stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add cooked squash. Purée soup until smooth and creamy using a hand-held immersion blender or food processor. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
In a separate small sauce pan, over medium-high heat, bring vegetable oil to 300°F. Remove sage leaves from stems and drop 10 at a time into the hot oil. Fry until crispy, no longer than 30 seconds. Remove leaves from hot oil and let drain on paper towel. Repeat until you have approximately 30 to 40 fried leaves.
Serve soup in warm bowls, crumbling the crispy guanciale and sage on top. Crusty bread with sweet butter makes a wonderful accompaniment.