Acorn squash and Fall go together like pumpkin spice and coffee drinks! When cooler weather happens upon us, we start craving hearty pasta dishes. This easy pasta uses the caramel like sweetness of acorn squash with the salty crunch of bacon, creating a comforting meal that is perfect for a fall evening on the porch. You can change this recipe to your tastes. Substitute pancetta or sausage for bacon, add sage instead of rosemary, or top with buttery bread crumbs.
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half again into wedges, about 1/2-inch thick. Coat wedges with a splash of olive oil, and spread on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.Toss peeled garlic with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and wrap in aluminum foil.
Bake the squash and garlic for about 30 minutes, until both are soft and slightly caramelized. Garlic may take a bit longer, so you can leave it in the oven while you chop squash. Allow the squash to cool slightly, while boiling a pot of water for the pasta. Peel each wedge of squash (you can often do this with a spoon) and cut into large chunks.
Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, wide sauce pan, with enough room for pasta to be added. Sauté the bacon until most of the fat is rendered and the meat is crispy. Halfway through cooking bacon, cook pasta in boiling, salted water.
Remove cooked bacon and set aside. Carefully deglaze the pan with the broth (watch for splatter, as you are adding liquid to some grease), scraping up any brown bits on the bottom. Stir in and mash up the rosemary and roasted garlic with the back of a spoon or spatula in the broth. Add the chunks of squash and bacon to the pan. Drain the pasta, reserving approximately 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the squash/pancetta mixture. Toss everything to coat, adding a bit of pasta water if too dry. Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!
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