Nothings says Fall like squash

I  grew up on a farm with a large vegetable patch.  Every year, despite weeding and regular maintenance, the inevitable takeover would happen.  The beans would be strangled, the corn climbed, and any semblance that anything other than the squash and zucchini plants shared space in the garden was erased.  The squash and zucchini vines took over.   It was always around this time of year, with the garden overrun with squash that it, in all its various forms (baked, mashed…) would start to make an appearance at the dinner table.

The weather in the UK has definitely turned towards Fall.  This week I put the winter duvet cover on, have started closing windows, and am digging through the wardrobe for sweaters, socks, and jeans.  It seemed right that one of our dinners this week should be squash focused.

This recipe started with an idea from thekitchn.com.  A website which has grown out of “apartmenttherapy.com” who’s mission and philosophy about cooking and the home line up closely with my own.  For me, it’s about good food, simple ingredients, and sharing it with friends, family, and others who pass through our lives.

Back to business…dinner.  The picture below is the inspiration for dinner

Squash bacon and goat cheese pasta from TheKitchn.com

Now squash isn’t my favourite flavour and the grocery store didn’t have any of those cute patty pan squash (whose cute factor trumps my dislike of squash).  I decided to add a few more flavours to play down the squash.

4 to 5 slices of bacon
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1/2 pound pasta (I used ricotta and spinach ravioli but I think anything would do)
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
nutmeg
spinach
goat cheese
small handful of fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
salt and pepper

  1. Cook the bacon in a large fry pan.  You’re going to combine everything in this pan or in your pasta pot, so use the largest you’ve got.  Once the bacon has cooked, remove the bacon from the pan and set the bacon aside.  The bacon I used had very little fat, (~1tbsp) if you have a lot you might want to drain it off.
  2. Cook the onions on low-medium heat in the same pan, scraping up all the juicy bits left over from the bacon.  Once soft and caramelized, add the squash, salt and pepper, and nutmeg, cooking until the squash is soft and cooked through.  My squash still held its shape, but broke easily when sliced with a fork.
  3. Add the spinach, stirring it around with the onions and squash.  It might seem like a lot of spinach (I used an entire bag) but it wilts down quickly.
  4. After cooking your pasta according to package directions, drain the pasta and add it to the spinach, onions, and squash, tossing to combine.
  5. Crumble the goat cheese over the pasta and veg, tossing it gently.  It will melt down and become deliciously saucy.  Crumble the bacon over the top, add some fresh torn basil,  salt and pepper for a final flavour tweak and you’re done

I’d hoped to have some process shots for this recipe, but Mr. 416 Expat has the camera in Frankfurt.  Next time I promise!

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