Whole Wheat Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon

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Spring is around the corner and flowers are starting to bloom. But before we all get out our barbeque grills and abandon our ovens, I urge you to roast some butternut squash and put together this pasta dish. It’s easy, delicious and full of good nutrition – from the many benefits squash contributes to all of the healthful goodness whole grains bring to the table in the Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Penne. Besides, it has bacon in it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced in 1/2 in cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • sprinkle salt, coarse grain
  • 8 oz Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Penne
  • 5 thick slices bacon, diced
  • 3 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 2 Tbsp sage, chopped, fresh
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Directions

Preheat oven to 450˚F. Toss the squash with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and coarse-grain salt on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.  Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the squash is soft (but not mushy) and becoming caramelized – stirring at least once in the process.  Set aside.  Cook the pasta in a large pot of water according to the directions on the box.  Reserve one cup of the cooking water when draining the pasta.  Set aside.  Sauté the bacon in a large skillet until the fat is rendered and bacon is crisp.  Drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.  Pour out all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings from the skillet and add the garlic to the pan.  Cook the garlic for a minute, being careful not to burn it. Add the roasted squash, bacon and pasta to the skillet with the garlic and toss everything together.  Add reserved cooking water, ¼ cup at a time, to the pasta mixture until it looks evenly wet – you may not need all of the water.  Warm things up on low heat if necessary.  Sprinkle the chopped sage and Parmesan cheese on top, give the dish one last toss and serve immediately.  Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top of each serving if so desired.

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