This recipe brings together my love of Italian pasta with some of my favorite flavors from the Americas: squash and bacon. Living between two worlds, I am fascinated by the mutations that recipes undergo as they cross countries and cultures, and am always seeking flavors that represent the concept of “home.” Italian pasta is exported all over the world, from Germany to the USA to Japan, and in every place it undergoes different interpretations and recipes. October 25th is #WorldPastaDay, where we celebrate pasta in all its shapes and sizes by making, eating, and sharing our favorite pasta dishes! I look forward to following the hashtag and seeing all of your favorite pasta recipes. Meanwhile, enjoy this delicious pumpkin pasta recipe, perfect for crisp autumn days.
Creamy Butternut and Bacon Pasta
- 4 slices of bacon
- 9 oz peeled and cubed butternut squash (or winter squash of choice)
- 10 oz spaghetti
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Chopped chives
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until golden brown, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to cool, then chop into pieces and set aside. Pour out most of the bacon fat from the pan, but leave a little in there to cook the squash (you just don’t want it drowning in grease). Over medium-high heat, add the squash cubes to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover pan immediately. Lower heat to a simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally and adding more water as necessary, until squash is soft, about 10-15 minutes. Purée squash until creamy and pour back into the pan.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta until very al dente in salted, boiling water. Add a cup of the cooking water to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Drain the pasta, reserving another cup or two of cooking water. Pour cooked pasta into the pan with the pumpkin purée, stir to combine, and cook over medium heat, adding more water to keep the consistency creamy, until pasta is al dente. Add a bit of extra virgin olive oil and toss to combine. Garnish pasta with bacon pieces and chives.