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Courgetti & Rich Butternut Squash Sauce

You'll have to excuse the shoddy photography and styling for this one - I am literally writing this dead on my feet - but I have to share this latest courgetti triumph. I'm always striving for the perfect sauce for courgetti; I'm sure anyone who's tried it will know of the battle against the 'sog' factor. Everyone always goes on about how well a normal bolognese ragu works with it, but personally I find it to be just a liquidy mess. Pesto sauces work well, and so does an avocado based sauce for creaminess. But, sometimes I find them just a little bit 'green' and certainly too summery for a chilly night.

I had some organic guanciale that I picked up from Borough Market the other day and it was burning a hole in my pocket. For the uninitiated, guanciale is a cut of fatty flavoursome meat from the pig's cheek or jowl - like pancetta but sweeter, saltier and much fattier. It's the only meat an Italian would consider using for a carbonara, but it can be hard to come by here in the UK. But I'd got my hands on it.

To avoid complete diet sabotage by giving in and cooking an epic carbonara, I tried an alternative of roasting butternut squash to become soft and sweet, then scooping it out of the skin and kind of mashing it in a bowl.

Meanwhile, I sliced a small amount of guanciale into cubes and cooked them down slowly and gently in a saucepan until the fat was transparent. I added some finely chopped cloves of garlic and let them do their thing too, before chucking in some nice chunky pieces of mushroom and torn basil leaves. Once they had just started to give, I stirred the butternut squash through to make a sauce. It looks a bit like this - not particularly saucy, but I wanted a firm consistency to allay any potential wetness:

Courgetti doesn't need cooking, just warming through, so add to the sauce and toss through until it's all nicely coated.

Finish with some grated parmesan and you're good to go. All in all about 400 calories of comfort food.

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