Pasta With Butternut Squash and BaconDown side: Polar Vortex Episode 2 (The Revenge of  Polar Vortex) will not go away and this latest storm dumped another FOOT of snow on us. We had a burst pipe, a flooded (frozen) basement and our street looks like a luge track from Sochi.

Up side: Pasta with a creamy, bacony sauce and lots of butternut squash!

Pasta With Butternut Squash and Bacon

Okay, down-side wins but since winter refuses to behave, at least make some yummy, cozy dishes while it’s still frigging freezing out.

I’ve mentioned before how much I adore butternut squash so when I saw Melissa Clark’s recipe for pasta with parsnips, I decided to adapt it.  I’ve made a few changes (other than substituting the main vegetable, obviously). I used shallots instead of leeks because I just like them and always have them on hand. I also added a little bit of garlic and chili flakes.

The result is delicious. A little smoky from the bacon, sweet from the butternut squash. Yum.

Pasta With Butternut Squash and Bacon

 Nerd Tips:
  • This recipe gives you tips on peeling and seeding a butternut squash.
  • Bacon is better for this because it’s smoked but pancetta will work as well.
  • Don’t stir the squash too much or it will turn to mush (I resisted a “squashed” joke here. You’re welcome)
  • Any short-cut pasta will work well here.


Pasta With Butternut Squash and Bacon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 small butternut squash (3/4 pound), peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, as needed
  • ½ pound dried campanelle or farfalle pasta
  • ¼ pound bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Chili flakes, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until squash are golden and tender, about 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions until 1 minute before it’s al dente. Drain.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes; use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and add shallots. Cook in remaining bacon fat until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and cooked bacon. Simmer mixture until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in pasta, squash and cheese. Simmer until heated through and cheese is melted, then remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper; toss with parsley. Serve sprinkled with chili flakes and plenty of black pepper on top