Roasted Butternut & Bacon Pasta

October 5, 2010 by Ali

‘Tis the season once again to make the transition from the yellow and zucchini squash of summer….to the rich, sweet squash of fall. Of course, my favorite of those is the beautiful butternut. They were in abundance this week at our market (see the photo below!), so I happily brought a few home. They look so cute sitting on the counter…and even more delicious cooked up!

Some of you may remember me posting (and raving) about my take on Whole Food’s “butternut crab bisque” last season. But instead of beginning the season with another soup, decided that my first butternut recipe this season would a recipe I had bookmarked to try — “roasted butternut and bacon pasta”. I mean, really, with a title like that — who can resist? Throw in some sage, pine nuts, fresh parmesan, and a little extra butter, and OH MY WORD.

Delish.

The sweet+salty+smoky flavors come together beautifully. And aside from the bacon (see the tip below for subbing in turkey bacon), it’s pretty healthy! AND…I must point out that the gorgeous warm colors make this a perfect autumn meal. Definitely a delightful way to begin butternut season!

Roasted Butternut & Bacon Pasta

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 5-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, about 1½ lb (750 g), halved, seeded, peeled, and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ lb (250 g) orecchiette, penne, or fusilli
  • 5 slices thick-cut apple wood-smoked bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ cup (1½ oz/45 g) pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup (2 oz/60 g) grated Parmesan

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together the squash, onion, and oil, then spread it in a single layer. Cut 1 tablespoon of the butter into bits and dot the squash evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, rotating the pan front to back about halfway through cooking, until the squash and onion are golden and tender, about 45 minutes.

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) of the cooking water. Cover the pasta to keep it hot. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until most of its fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp on the edges but still chewy at the center, about 4-5 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the sage and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts.

Add the hot pasta, the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) of the hot pasta water and stir to combine. If the pasta seems dry, stir in a little more pasta water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Serve right away.


Ali’s Tip:

If you’d like to substitute in turkey bacon in place of regular, go for it! You may just need to add in an extra tablespoon of butter for sauteing the sage and veggies.


About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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16 thoughts on “Roasted Butternut & Bacon Pasta

  1. I made this last night, and I loved it! Thanks for the recipe! Hope you’re doing great!

    - Jenni Wagner

  2. when I roast my butternut squash and onions for other recipes, I always add a little bit of brown sugar half way through roasting. It give the squash a sweet almost carmalized flavor. Think it would be good to do it with this recipe also. I know what’s for dinner tonight!

    - Wendy

  3. this looks delicious! I am growing squash this year, so I will need excuses to cook with it! :)

    - Paula @ Dishing the Divine

  4. This looks great. I’ve been looking for recipes like this one, so I can start getting into the seasonal mood, and out of summer mode. This will be perfect! Who can resist anything with bacon?

    - Kimiko

  5. Would this work with acorn squash? I have 2 from our produce box this week and I’ve never had it or cooked with it before. This recipe sounds delish.

    - Cait

  6. This looks soo delicious and soo easy! Two things I can really appreciate. I wonder if sweet potato would work in place of the butternut…thoughts?

    - Caroline

  7. I dont know why (I am just weird) for some reason I dont like orriechete pasta, since I know they are called ‘little ears’ somehow that is what I think of all the time! :P But butternut squash and bacon and parmesan? Oh yes, those are awesome. :) Great recipe!

    - The Cilantropist

  8. This looks amazing and so quick and easy! I love butternut squash, pasta and bacon. I am going to have to make this. Maybe add in a dash of cream too!

    - Heather @ The Single Dish

  9. What a beautiful dish! I have quite a few butternut squash from my garden, and I’m happy to try some new recipes (instead of making even more puree!)… Will be giving this one a try.

    - Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

  10. Great recipe! With the bacon addition, I bet I could even get my son to eat it. Will definitely give it a try. Thanks!

    - Karen@Mignardise

  11. I make a similar pasta (CI) version, also using orechiette. Love it!

    - kokomama

  12. this dish is so pretty. all the color combo blends so well together :) your pictures are so stunning! thank you for sharing.

    - blackbookkitchendiaries

  13. This is beautiful! We just ate some amazing roasted butternut squash lasagna with browned sage butter and cheese in a restaurant. This looks like the same flavors!

    - Linda

  14. Here is another variation, from Cooking Light – I made it last week, delicious and so decadent!
    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000000592277

    - LW

  15. This looks wonderful. Very hearty and autumnal.

    - Michelle

  16. That looks really good :) the love the colors and the flavor combination!

    - Dee D.