RECIPE

Rachael’s Pasta with Bacon and Butternut

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit RachaelRayShow.com.

Squash cooked in rendered bacon fat sets the stage for a simple skillet pasta “sauce” made using white wine, chicken stock, and plenty of parmesan cheese.

Suggestion: serve with salad of escarole or romaine, red onion, fennel, oranges and artichoke hearts, dressing white balsamic Dijon in jar.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ pound meaty bacon or pancetta, finely diced
  • ¾-1 pound butternut squash or pumpkin, diced ¼-inch
  • Salt and pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, grated
  • 7-8 leaves sage, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup peeled hazelnuts or walnuts
  • 1 pound Gigli Toscani/Campanelle or other short pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated Parm or Pecorino cheese
  • Minced chives, to serve

Preparation

Heat a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, add the bacon or pancetta and render 2 minutes, add the squash and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, sage and soften 5 minutes, add shallots and garlic and cook 2 minutes more, add wine and let it absorb. Add stock and reduce heat to low.

Toast nuts in a small pan over medium heat on stovetop or use a toaster oven or oven at 350˚F. Chop nuts.

Add salt to pasta water to season, add pasta and cook about 1 minute less than package directions for al dente, reserve about half a mug, ½-3/4 cup starchy water, drain pasta..

Add the pasta and butter to squash and toss with cheese, using water as needed to keep pasta from drying out; toss a full minute. Adjust seasoning and serve pasta in shallow bowls topped with nuts and chives, pass more cheese at table.

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