Recipe: Butternut squash tart with fried sage, prosciutto and pecorino cheese

This is a non-traditional way of preparing butternut squash or pumpkin which is readily found in Malta. The sage, prosciutto and pecorino cheese lend a Mediterranean flavour nonetheless.

Preparation time: 15 min

Cooking time: 40 min

Serves: 4 to 6


  • 3 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 1 butternut squash (700-900 g)
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water, beaten
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 sage leaves
  • Shaved pecorino cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place prosciutto onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until crispy. Set aside until needed. Reduce oven temperature to 190°C.
  2. Microwave the whole butternut squash for 3 minutes. This will not only make the squash easier to peel and slice but aids in pre-cooking. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. With a knife, slice the neck of the squash into 3 mm thick rounds. You will need 18 slices.
  3. Roll the thawed but cold puff pastry into a 30 cm square and transfer to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, brush the puff pastry with the egg wash. Arrange butternut squash slices in an overlapping pattern on top of the pastry leaving a 2.5 cm border on all sides; season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes until puff pastry is golden.
  4. While the tart is baking, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Working with five leaves at a time, place the sage leaves in the hot oil and fry for 20 seconds until leaves are bright green and crisp but do not turn brown. Place on a paper towel to drain.
  5. Once the tart is finished, top with crumbled prosciutto slices, shaved pecorino cheese, and fried sage. Drizzle lightly with additional olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice and serve with Chardonnay.

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