Down 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!
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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