Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta

I’ve always found it interesting that I can look through the same old cookbook (or recipe site) over and over again and each time something new jumps out at me. A recipe that I never noticed lurking there before. And it usually relates to whatever ingredient or cuisine I’m currently obsessing over. For example, had I encountered this recipe in April, my eyes would have glazed right over the page. But in the heart of fall, this bacon and squash pasta dish was screaming my name. It also helps that I’m infatuated with pasta right now. You can probably tell by looking at it that this was wonderful. Rich and cheesy, yes. But not overwhelmingly so. Just enough crispy bacon to add outstanding flavor. And the right amount of bechamel to lubricate the noodles. Oh, and the roasted butternut squash. Like candy, I swear.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta

INGREDIENTS

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (3 cups diced)
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 lb. bacon
1 cup shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, warmed
pinch nutmeg
8 oz. whole wheat penne, shells, or macaroni
3/4 cup sharp provolone, shredded (I used smoked provolone)
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl toss squash and rosemary with olive oil to coat. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and golden.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain; set aside.

4. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Set aside to drain. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of bacon grease in the skillet. Crumble bacon once cooled.

5. Saute shallots and garlic in the reserved bacon grease over medium heat until tender. Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the milk, 1/2 cup at a time, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

6. In a large bowl, toss to combine 3/4 of the roasted squash, the cooked pasta, 3/4 of the crumbled bacon, the sauce, and the Provolone and Parmesan (reserving some cheese to sprinkle on top). Pour into a lightly greased 9×9 baking dish. Top with the remaining bacon and squash. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese.

7. Bake in preheated 425 F oven for 10 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Let set several minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

(Adapted from Cooking Light)

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18 Responses to Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta

  1. Camille December 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Made this last night! So yummy! That dang butternut squash is such a beast to conquer… but it’s always so worth it. And I agree… it’s like candy! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  2. Jessie December 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Camille- Haha I know what you bean about the beast. My sharpest knife barely does the job- I usually have to slam the squash against the counter to cut through it!

    • Reena Riley September 14, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      I know I’m behind the ball since you posted your comment in 2010, but I have found a wonderful way to peel a butternut squash and it takes no time at all. Use your horizontal vegetable peeler. Pull from the top down (vertical) until it flares out, then go around the bulb horizontally. It really is so fast and much safer than a knife for peeling. Hope you get this and that it is helpful.

  3. Val December 11, 2010 at 2:02 am #

    This looks beyond incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Sarah January 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Yum! I can’t wait until I can eat cheese again so I can try this.

  5. Reena Riley September 14, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    I saw this on Pinterest and have been waiting to make it for my husband’s birthday dinner tonight! Looks amazing!

  6. Tierney October 12, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    fantastic – thanks for making this recipe available!

  7. JS April 16, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    I have made this several times, my husband and kids all love it! The last time I made it, I left out the rosemary (didn’t know I was completely out of rosemary!) and let me tell you, I think this herb definitely makes this dish extra delicious. Don’t leave it out! 😉

  8. Lea October 6, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    My family enjoyed this dish! It was a nice change from the usual marinara sauce baked pasta. I thought 8oz of pasta would not be enough (for 3 adults, 2 kids under 5) but with the squash, it filled a 9×13 pan. The only change I’ll make next time is to add more bacon–we found 1/4 pound wasn’t enough 🙂

  9. Susan November 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    has anyone assembled this dish earlier in the day and baked later? Does it work?
    Thanks!

    • Jessie Davis November 6, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

      Susan, that should work fine. You might have to increase the baking time a bit if your ingredients are cold going into the oven. let us know how it turns out!

  10. Teresa February 14, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    I made this tonight for dinner. I used cream instead of milk but otherwise pretty well followed the directions. It was WONDERFUL!!!! No kidding. We loved the different savory tastes of this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. Shannon September 30, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    This was wonderful!! I made it last night and my family loved it, thank you 🙂

  12. Dena October 12, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

    Made this over the weekend and having some for lunch today. It’s even better reheated! Will be making this again and again

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