Friday, February 8, 2013

Bacon and Butternut Pasta Bake

Are you holed up in your house waiting for the blizzard to start? Maybe it's time for a warm and tasty winter pasta dish!

I'm not going to lie to you - we made this a few weeks ago already, but I think it would be great for a cozy snowy evening. Bacon and Gruyere may not be good for the body, but they're totally good for the soul! And the kale and squash bump up the health factor a bit, don't they?

Ok, maybe not. It's not the healthiest dish, but it is tasty. And you'll probably burn those calories off with all the shoveling you'll have to do tomorrow.

Happy blizzard.

Bacon and Butternut Pasta
From Cooking Light January/February 2012.

5 c butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
12 oz ziti
4 c kale, chopped
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
2 c onion, sliced vertically
1 tsp salt, divided
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 c chicken broth, divided
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 c creme fraiche
1/3 c Gruyere, shredded

Preheat oven to 400° F. Put on a pot of boiling salted water for the pasta.

In a large bowl, toss squash with oil. Transfer squash to a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 30 min, until tender.

Meanwhile, cook pasta about 7 min, until almost al dente (you want it underdone because it will continue to cook in the oven later). When the pasta has 2 minutes to go, add the kale to the water and cook with the pasta.

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Add onion to the pan with the bacon drippings and cook for about 6 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp salt and garlic and cook another minute, stirring.

Meanwhile, bring 1 3/4 c broth to a boil in a small saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1/4 c broth with flour. Add flour mixture, remaining 1/2 tsp salt and red pepper to the broth. Cook 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche.

Combine the squash, pasta, kale, bacon, onion mixture and sauce in a large bowl and toss to combine.

Transfer to a 13 x 9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbly and beginning to brown.

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