This is a good, filling pasta dish that uses bacon in a way that I like: as a garnish instead of as the main ingredient. It comes from Cooking Light. I made this first for me and Justin, and then again for my in-laws. The first time around, I followed the directions exactly and cooked the squash in some of the bacon grease and butter. The dish turned out well, but it was a little heavy for my taste. The second time around I separated out the bacon completely at my sister-in-law's request, and I noticed that the final result was a lighter dish. I liked it better, but if you're all about bacon, feel free to follow the original recipe.
Bacon and Butternut Pasta
Serves about 4
1 tablespoon salt
8 oz. uncooked whole grain fettuccine (about half a box)
-Bring 3 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add pasta; cook for 8 minutes. Drain in colander, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid.
2 bacon slices
-Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, turning halfway through. Remove bacon and let cool.
1-2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
-In the same skillet, without cleaning it out, add butter and cook until it melts. (Or, for a lighter version, cook the squash in a clean pan with just butter or olive oil.) Increase heat to medium-high and add squash. Saute for 7 minutes until almost tender. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or feta
1/2 cup sliced green onions
-Add salt, cheese, pasta, and reserved cooking liquid to skillet and stir together. Divide into 4 servings and garnish with bacon and green onions.