Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Penne Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash, Honey Bacon and Sage

I can see why more and more cookbook authors are taking the opportunity to either tell a story with their recipes, teach important skills or delve into the world of science--people (like me) are using cookbooks less and less. This evening I was ready to thaw some chicken breasts to grill with a starch, a vegetable and a salad. It's what I do on my less inspired or tired evenings. Instead, I remembered the prepped butternut squash sitting in the fridge waiting. Waiting to be made into something suitable for autumn.

I didn't crack one of our many cookbooks, instead I typed, "roasted butternut squash, penne", into Google. I'm  more selective than I used to be. I tend to look for blogs instead of the usual allrecipes or food.com. I didn't see a blogger on first page of results, but I did see farmfreshliving.com. That turned my head. Well, that and the mention of bacon and sage.

You'll find the recipe and link below, but just so you know--I used a bit more bacon and cheese than the recipe called for AND I used 2-3 tsp of dry sage.
I hope you enjoy this as much as N and I did.


"Winter squash contains an amazing amount of vitamin A. Just a 1/2 cup of baked butternut or buttercup squash has more than a full day's supply of this powerful cancer fighter! Both butternut squash and buttercup squash are also low in calories but high in fiber and are packed full of potassium, vitamin C, calcium and iron.

You can use butternut and buttercup squash interchangeably in recipes. This recipe tastes best when you use fresh , just picked sage leaves. Sage is a very easy and very hardy herb to grow. Sage is also an attractive garden plant that can be grown in a container or in the garden with other perennials.
 Serves 4
Click here for a printable copy
 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup organic virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt
1 pound penne pasta
8 pieces thick honey cured bacon, cooked and broken into bite size pieces
1/2 Sweet onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
10 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt. Transfer to oven and roast until squash is browned and tender, about 15 minutes. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Set pasta and reserved cooking liquid aside.

 Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add bacon, onion, crushed red pepper, and sage. Cook until onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add penne and squash and toss gently, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid as necessary to moisten.
 Add cheese and black pepper and cook, tossing gently, until pasta and squash are heated through. Serve immediately with more grated cheese, if desired."

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