Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Autumn Pasta with Butternut Squash and Bacon [Rhonda]

Degree of difficulty: easy
Time: 10 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking time
Serves: 2 to 3

When it's Tuesday night, you're just walking in the door, and feel the need for both veggies and comfort food, this might just be your go-to dish. It comes from a tattered recipe by Betty Rosbottom from years back, and can morph into an impromptu creation, depending on the vegetables in your fridge. With butternut squash, fresh baby spinach, caramelized onion and, yes, a bit of that bad-boy, bacon, it's a wonderful cool weather dish.

6 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup chicken stock (go with homemade!), reduced
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 pound uncooked penne pasta
Sea salt
Handful baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes

Saute the bacon, remove, and drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Add butter to skillet, melt, add onions, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add butternut squash, cook a few more minutes. Add white wine and chicken stock, rosemary. Reduce slightly, remove squash and onions when squash is slightly tender but not mushy. Reduce sauce a little more, add lemon juice.

Boil a pot of water, cook penne to al dente. Drain pasta, salt the penne slightly, stir in the spinach leaves, then add the sauce and reserved bacon and squash. Stir in parmesan cheese. Garnish with parmesan shavings and serve.

Suggested soundtrack: Willie Nelson's "Moonlight in Vermont"
Moonlight in Vermont by Willie Nelson on Grooveshark

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