Cooking Wright

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta


3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups (1 ˆ inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (I buy the pre-chopped packs at Trader Joes)
Cooking spray
6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
8 ounces uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta ˆ Trader Joes has)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cups (3 oz) shredded sharp provolone cheese (I just use the pre-shredded mix at Trader Joes that has provolone + 2 other cheeses called the Mediterranean mix)
1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz) grated fresh Parmesan cheese (again Trader Joes)


1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned (watch this closely—I burned these to a crisp the first time so more like 30 minutes). Increase oven temperature to 450°.
3. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan (I did use the shallots and Scott only mildly objected); and sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots, set aside.
4. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.
5. Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7 inch backing dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Yield: 5 servings.
Calories 469 (28% from fat); Fat 14.4g; Protein 22.1g; Carb 66.6g; Fiber 6.8g; Chol 40mg

Mini penne pasta works well in this dish since it‚s about the same size as the squash. You can also use elbow macaroni, shell pasta, or orecchiette.

This is a great white sauce. You could add almost anything in. Scott loves adding steamed asparagus to the squash mixture.

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