Bittersweet Squash with Pancetta and Leeks

Butternut squash, with its orange-colored, mildly sweet flesh, is a versatile vegetable that can swing toward savory or sweet. This side dish marries both with the use of gastrique, caramelized sugar deglazed with vinegar. The result? A pleasant bittersweet blend of flavors. Feel free to substitute acorn or turban squash.

3 tablespoons sugar
2 oz. chopped pancetta*
2 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (5 cups)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup lower-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup chopped leeks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Sprinkle sugar evenly over bottom of large deep skillet. Heat over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until melted and golden brown, stirring occasionally once sugar is partially melted. Stir in pancetta; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Add squash; stir until well combined with pancetta mixture.

2. Add vinegar; bring to a boil. Stir in vegetable broth. Add leeks, salt and pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is almost tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover; continue cooking 10 minutes or until squash is tender and glazed, stirring occasionally.

6 (2/3-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 165 calories, 8 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 2.5 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 10 mg cholesterol, 315 mg sodium, 4.5 g fiber

TIP *Pancetta is an unsmoked rolled Italian bacon that’s cured with salt and spices.