Bucatini with Bacon, Kale and Winter Squash

Bucatini with Bacon, Kale and Winter Squash is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 5.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Bucatini, a pasta that is slightly thicker than spaghetti and has a hollow center, is a good choice for this hearty autumn pasta. If you’d prefer not to fry the sage leaves, you can omit them and garnish the pasta with a bit of chopped fresh sage instead.

Ingredients:

For the fried sage (optional):

  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil
  • 8 to 10 fresh sage leaves

  • 1 butternut, kabocha or calabaza squash, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 oz. (375 g) bucatini
  • 3 oz. (90 g) bacon, diced
  • 1 large shallot, sliced into 1/8-inch (3-mm) rings
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and leaves cut crosswise into 1/4-inch (3-mm) ribbons
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) white wine
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

Directions:

To fry the sage leaves, in a small fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Carefully drop the sage leaves, a few at a time, into the oil. They will sizzle and crisp very quickly, in 15 to 30 seconds. Using a fork or small skimmer, transfer the fried sage leaves to a paper towel–lined plate.

On a baking sheet, toss the squash with the olive oil, 2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Spread the squash in a single layer and roast until tender, about 25 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, in a sauté pan large enough to accommodate the pasta and squash later, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate, leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the shallot to the pan and cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add the kale, 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 Tbs. water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.

In the same pan, warm the butter until melted. Add the garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and fresh sage leaves to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid is slightly thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the sage leaves from the pan and discard. Stir in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the squash, bacon, kale mixture and cooked pasta to the pan and toss until well combined, warming the mixture over medium heat if the vegetables are no longer warm.

Transfer the pasta to a serving dish and garnish with the fried sage and pine nuts. Serve immediately, passing the cheese at the table. Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful fall dish! I made this a couple nights ago for a small dinner party and it was amazing and well received by everyone. I kept dinner simple with this hearty dish, added bread and wine. Not much of it was left, but I finished the rest the next day and it was very good. Loved the smell of sage in my home after frying up the sage leaves. Definitely making this again and again!
Date published: 2015-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Fall Classic This recipe rocks! It has it all! Pasta, who doesn't love pasta- I used penne because it's what I had on hand- I liked the way the pieces were similar sizes. Bacon- always a winner! The bacon grease to cook the shallots and kale- not heart healthy but hey, my pickiest eater who would never think of tasting kale to save his life actually said " wow! I love kale", and roasted squash- again a first "I like this" by my picky guy!
Date published: 2015-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely Looking, Lovely Tasting I, too, saw this on the cover and thought it looked wonderful. I was prepared to use spaghetti, and was shocked to find that my local grocery store carries Barilla bucatini. I subbed acorn squash (because we have a bumper crop this year), and baby kale for the Tuscan kale (only kale my grocery had). I also omitted the pine nuts, and thought that they would have been the proverbial one ingredient too many if I had added them. All in all, very very tasty. I have a sage bush that facilitated the fried sage. Not lo-cal (butter and cream) but boy was it tasty!
Date published: 2015-10-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Dissapointing This recipe sounded so good, especially since we love Kale and Squash. There was no distinction in the ingredients, once put together. I did learn one thing, I now LOVE Kale with shallots.
Date published: 2015-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Fall Meal Saw this dish on the cover of my WS catalogue and thought "that looks good", so I found the recipe, made it for my family last night.and...YUM! Everything about it is sooo good: the balance of flavors and textures, not to mention the colors, it's beautiful. You could definitely make this for company. I didn't have any sage so I made it without and it was still five stars. Can't wait to try it again with the sage!
Date published: 2015-10-12
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