October is International Pasta Month! Truthfully, in The Sassy Kitchen, every month is pasta month, but Barilla Pasta made my October extra special by sending my a beautiful assortment of pastas, to get creative in my kitchen! My contribution to pasta month? Butternut Squash, bacon and leek spaghetti!
Butternut squash may as well be the mascot of the autumn season – so it was only natural that I had to merry my pasta with some butternut squash goodness. The great thing about butternut squash is the inherent creaminess it gives to sauces. The pasta feels cheesy, without the addition of any cheese! Coming from a cheese lover, that is truly special.
If you have not worked with leeks before – they are great. They are the perfect balance between the onion and garlic flavours, but are very mild. One thing to keep in mind is that leeks harbour a great deal of sand in between the layers. The best way to clean them, is to chop them in half moons, and put them in a bowl of cold water. Give them a little swish around the water, and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. The sand will sink to the bottom of the bowl, leaving your leeks sand-free! Be sure to dry them on a paper towel before cooking, to ensure they get nice and caramelized!
Butternut Squash Bacon Leek PastaCourse: MainsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
The ultimate fall pasta dish in honour of Pasta Month!
1 box (340g) Barilla spaghetti
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 bunch leeks, halved and sliced in half moons
5 strips bacon, cut in lardons
1/4 cup half and half cream
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- Boil pasta as per package instructions. Barilla spaghetti is al dente in 10-11 minutes. Take the pasta out, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, and boil the butternut squash in the remaining pasta water.
- Once the butternut squash is fork tender, drain and add the half and half cream. Using an immersion blender, blend the squash and cream until mostly smooth, but with some remaining chunks. Set aside.
- In a cast-iron skillet, render the bacon until crispy. Add the leeks, and let them brown with the bacon.
- Add the butternut squash puree to the pan, and add the nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper. Once combined, add the pasta on top and turn the heat off.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce and add the pasta water to coat the pasta. Serve with parmesan shavings on top, and enjoy!