Monday, October 3, 2011

First Food of Fall - Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

The last couple of weeks at the farmer's market I've been resisting the squash. There's a long winter full of squashy things ahead of me, and best to get a last few dishes out of the tomatoes and eggplants and zucchini. I finally gave up the fight this week. It's been feeling like fall finally, and so there was only one thing left to do: Butternut Squash Pasta.

I first made this with Kelly in Syracuse, and it's been a favorite of mine ever since then. Roasting the squash, onions and bacon all together gives it this flavor that's indescribably good. Nothing ever goes wrong when caramelized onions are involved. And the squash gets all soft and slightly roasted. Plus once the squash is peeled the whole thing comes together really quickly. If you are opposed to bacon for some reason, it could easily be left out. Though I think you would seriously be missing out.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Pasta
(from Kelly at Nerd in the Kitchen)

1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1 medium onion, diced
4 strips of bacon, diced
Olive oil, salt, and pepper
1 lb. of pasta (rigatoni / penne / farfalle)
1.5 cups of the pasta water
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese grated

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

2. Cube the squash into pieces no larger than 1″. Distribute the squash, onion, and bacon on a baking sheet. Lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 25 minutes, turning the squash about halfway through.

3. While the squash is cooking, boil the pasta. When the pasta is done, drain it, but reserve about 1.5 cups of the pasta water. Pour the pasta back into the now-empty pot.

4. When the squash is tender and the onions have caramelized, pour the baking sheet contents into the pot with the pasta. Add the Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the pasta water. Mix until the cheese is melted and the squash is combined. Add water is needed.

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