Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light and adapted by Guido’s Own Dietitian, Rachel Alves
To get a head start, roast the garlic, caramelize the onions, and assemble this robust casserole the day before serving. Use leftover roasted garlic to flavor soups, or combine with olive oil as a spread for toasted baguette slices.
Serves: 8, 1 3/4 cup portions
1 whole garlic head
4 oz. pancetta, chopped (pancetta is Italian unsmoked bacon)
2 c. sliced onion
1 tbs. plus 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
4 1/2 c. (about 2 lbs.) peeled butternut squash cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1/2 c. vegetable broth (can substitute chicken broth)
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 (15 oz.) cans cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
2 (1 oz.) sliced white bread
2 tbs. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap garlic head in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Set half of garlic pulp aside; reserve remaining pulp for another use. Discard skins. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium–high heat. Add pancetta; saute 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove pancetta from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Add onion and 1 tbs. oil to drippings in pan; saute five minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 25 minutes or until onion is very tender and browned, stirring frequently. Stir in vinegar.
Add garlic pulp, pancetta, squash, and next six ingredients (through bay leaf) to onion mixture, stirring well. Place bread in a food processor and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure about 1 cup. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tsp. olive oil; sprinkle evenly over squash mixture. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until squash is tender. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until topping is browned. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley.
Note: You can substitute regular smoked bacon for the pancetta, but use less, as the smoky flavor is more assertive.