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Roasted Squash and Bacon Pasta

Combining sweet roasted squash and onions with salty bacon and savory cheese, this pasta dish offers an appealing contrast of flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. butternut or other winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 thick-cut bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 Tbs. salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. rigatoni or other large pasta shape
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving

Directions:

Roast the squash and onions
Preheat an oven to 425ºF.

On a large nonstick baking sheet, toss the squash, onion and bacon with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the sage and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer. Roast until the squash is caramelized and tender and the bacon is crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Cook the pasta
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Return the pasta to the pot. Add the squash mixture and toss for 1 minute over high heat, adding as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Add the 1/2 cup cheese and toss, then serve immediately. Pass additional cheese at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, One Pot, by Carrolyn Carreño (Oxmoor House, 2008).