Bacon and Butternut Squash Penne

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This dish is a take on a recipe I saw from Jamie Oliver a while back. We’ve substituted bacon for the pancetta and changed how the squash is prepared. It may seem like a small change, but I think it works. Using bacon in larger pieces and cooking them off a bit longer adds a different depth to the dish. The bacon is smokier than pancetta and the meatiness changes the mouth feel. Also, using strips of butternut squash as opposed to dicing it also helps the mouth feel and brings the squash forward a bit more. Aside from all that, the dish is damn tasty. the rosemary adds a nice earthy flavor that plays well with the squash. The Parmesan right at the end melts into the sauce and makes it a bit creamy. If you love hearty winter vegetables and are looking for a simple dish to curl up with, this one here will keep you warm on those cold winter nights.

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Bacon and Butternut Squash Penne
Bacon and Butternut Squash Penne
  • 1/2 Butternut Squash
  • 2 1/2 cups stock
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cups penne
  • 4 ounces slab bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp rosemary
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
Peel, half and deseed the butternut squash. Cut squash so that it's about the size and length of the penne. Do the same with the bacon, onion and garlic. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 6 minutes. You want it browning but not yet crispy. Then stir in the onions and cook for another 2 minutes. Follow with the squash and rosemary and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Finally add the stock and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. You're looking for the liquid to reduce and the squash to be fork tender. While the squash is cooking, cook the penne to just under done (it will finish cooking with the squash). When the squash is done, add your cooked and drained pasta to the pan and stir. Cook for another few minutes so the penne absorbs the liquid. Turn off the heat and stir in parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Editor’s note: There is not nearly enough bacon. There’s no point in chopping just 4 ounces of bacon. Unless you went to the butcher and somehow only walk away with 4 ounces. 

One Comment

  1. NoBakeLeni says:

    Test comment.

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