I've been feeling kind of quiet lately. I dunno how many of you blog, but do you ever feel blogged out? Like, I've definitely been making food, no doubt, like The Pastry Affair's Chocolate Banana Cake, tomato basil bisque, and monster zucchini bread. I mean, look at this sucker!
|Also look at my fancy nails.|
But sometimes I don't have a story to go along with my food. Or, I could create one, but it would feel forced and distract me from simply enjoying the process. I'm not the kind of person who talks because they like to hear their own voice (I'm not sure anyone would willingly admit to being that person, but you can ask my close friends and family, it's definitely not true for me). I'm okay with long silences. I frequently revel in them.
|Hi! I'm a cute and annoying butternut squash who is far too difficult to cut!|
So here's a many stepped but uncomplicated recipe, perfect for getting lost in the quiet of your thoughts. I made it for my family while they were out of the house, and it was a lovely treat to get to cook with the only sounds being a knife hitting a cutting board and the sizzle of oil in a pan.
Butternut Squash + Bacon Pasta
adapted from Cooking Light magazine
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
- 6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions
- 8 ounces uncooked penne
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups skim milk
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray (don't forget the cooking spray like me, haha); sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.
- 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 onions to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and onions; set aside.
- Cook pasta according to the package directions, drain well.
- Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan 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 mozzarella, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking 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.