Butternut Squash Pasta

How many of you can relate? It’s around that hectic, flustering time of day – dinnertime. Some days, you’ve just been too busy to plan what you’ll be feeding yourself or your family. Other days, you just don’t feel motivated to cook and maybe you’re in a rush to get somewhere (any night shifters, here?). Yes, we all need to be rescued by magical dinner options, like this Butternut Squash Pasta dish. Not only does it come together in no time, it’s also so filling and looks stunning too, just look at all the gorgeous autumn colors. The creamy sauce has that distinctive autumn flavors of pumpkin, with bacon and cheese adding extra heartiness and lots of scrumptious flavors. You can even make this a vegetarian option by omitting the bacon and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I also really appreciate that not only does this dish just “breathe” cozyness, but also isn’t heavy, since the vegetables and fresh herbs perk it up with freshness. That’s the kind of comforting food that I like, I still want to feel great after eating it. 

Ingredients:

8 oz pasta (I used penne) 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes 6 slices of bacon, sliced into lardons 1 onion, chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken broth 1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

To prep the butternut squash, use a really sharp, sturdy knife to cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds, peel it and cut it into 1 inch cubes. IMG_8679 (500x333) IMG_8684 (500x333)Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta, just slightly less done than you like it, since it will finish cooking in the sauce. Set aside some of the pasta water, to thin out the pasta later, if it needs it. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook the bacon on medium heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Pour off most of the bacon drippings, leaving about 1 Tablespoon of bacon drippings in the skillet. IMG_8689 (500x333)You can omit the bacon in this recipe and make this completely vegetarian, by substituting oil for the bacon drippings and vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens. IMG_8690 (500x333)Add the butternut squash and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. IMG_8694 (500x333)Cook for 8-10 minutes, at a low simmer, until the butternut squash softens. Deglaze the bottom of the skillet every once in a while with some of the broth as the vegetables are cooking if the bottom of the skillet gets too dry. Pour in the chicken broth, increase the heat to high and cook for another 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the sauce thickens. IMG_8713 (500x333)Add the cream, mix to combine and add the parsley and Parmesan cheese. IMG_8723 (500x333)Add the pasta to the sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes, just until the pasta is done cooking. As the pasta cooks in the sauce, it will soak in all the aromatic flavors, thicken a bit more and finish cooking. If the pasta and sauce are thicker than you’d like, add some of the pasta water. IMG_8726 (500x333)Garnish with the bacon and more cheese and fresh herbs, like parsley, if you’d like.

Butternut Squash Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 8 oz pasta (I used penne)
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into ¾ - 1 inch cubes
  • 6 slices of bacon, sliced into lardons
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ - 2 cups chicken broth
  • ⅓-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. To prep the butternut squash, use a really sharp, sturdy knife to cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds, peel it and cut it into ¾ - 1 inch cubes.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta, just slightly less done than you like it, since it will finish cooking in the sauce. Set aside some of the pasta water, to thin out the pasta later, if it needs it.
  3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook the bacon on medium heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  4. Pour off most of the bacon drippings, leaving about 1 Tablespoon of bacon drippings in the skillet. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens.
  5. Add the butternut squash and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes, at a simmer, until the butternut squash softens. Deglaze the bottom of the skillet with some of the broth as the vegetables are cooking if the bottom of the skillet gets too dry.
  6. Pour in the chicken broth, increase the heat to high and cook for another 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan until the sauce thickens.
  7. Add the cream, mix to combine and add the parsley and Parmesan cheese.
  8. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes, just until the pasta is done cooking. As the pasta cooks in the sauce, it will soak in all the aromatic flavors, thickens a bit more and finish cooking. If the pasta and sauce are thicker than you'd like, add some of the pasta water.
  9. Garnish with the bacon and more cheese and herbs, if you'd like.

 

8 Comments

  • margarita

    Ive never worked with butter nut squash, but let me tell you..after i completed this dish i was amazed! BNS tends to be sweeter while the bacon salty- perfect combination! OLGA, thanks for sharing a great new recipe. now off to cook with more BNS..

  • Olya D

    Thanks for this recipe! Just in time when I’ve collected 3 squashes from our CSA farmer, and was wondering what to do with them! This will be perfect!

  • Diana

    Olya,
    I and my husband loved it! Thank you! but I also noticed it was on a watery side. Are you sure the chicken broth measurement is correct?
    I do have to mention I didnt use the broth I used the chicken bullion that I had at the moment .. do you think that could be it?

    • olgak7

      You probably just didn’t cook the sauce long enough. It should thicken and reduce quite a bit. To be quite honest, I used even MORE broth than I indicated in the recipe.
      Also, when you finish cooking the pasta in the sauce, the pasta will absorb a lot of the sauce as well.
      However, if you do all this and it’s still too runny for you, of course, reduce the amount of chicken broth that you put in the sauce.

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