I’m not one to have the “case of the Monday’s.” I might get sad on Sunday nights that the weekend is over, but on Monday mornings I generally feel refreshed and ready to face the new week. Unfortunately, this was not one of those Mondays. This was one of those Mondays that I knew I was going to need a glass of wine after work before it was even lunch time. All I wanted to do when I got home was put on a pair of sweatpants, pour a glass of wine, and take some time to cook a nice dinner. It’s pretty rare that I have the time to do all 3 of these things in one night during the week, but I figured after the day I had I deserved to do whatever I wanted.
I’ve had a big ‘ol butternut squash sitting on my counter for a few weeks now and I decided tonight was the night to put the time and effort into peeling, dicing, and roasting it, to be used as a pasta sauce. I mean, what goes better with a big glass of red wine than a big plate of pasta? Okay, I suppose I could eat just about anything with red wine but today the answer is: nothing.
This pasta sauce is rich and creamy without any actual cream in the recipe. A modest amount of Gruyere cheese makes the pasta feel indulgent, along with a sprinkle of bacon crumbles. After a big plate of pasta and a couple of brown butter chocolate chip cookies, I forgot all about my case of the Mondays.
Of course, this pasta could easily be made vegetarian by simply omitting the bacon.
- Butternut Squash Bacon, and Gruyere Pasta
- serves 4-6
- 1 butternut squash peeled and diced (about 2 lbs)
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 slices bacon chopped
- 1 yellow onion sliced
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 16 oz spaghetti I used whole wheat
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil.
- Toss butternut squash with 2 tbsp oil, cinnamon, and season with salt.
- Place onto prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until squash is tender.
- Meanwhile, in large sauce pan, cook chopped bacon until completely cooked.
- Remove from pan and set aside.
- Remove drippings from pan and add remaining 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Cook pasta according to package.
- Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Once butternut squash is done, place in blender along with half of the onions, nutmeg, and milk.
- Puree until well blended.
- Pour pureed squash into saucepan with remaining onions over low heat and add cheese.
- Stir until cheese is melted.
- Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time if sauce is too thick, to reach desired consistency of sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
- Top with bacon crumbles and enjoy!