Recipe ~ Penne with Bacon, Thyme & Acorn Squash

Recipe_acorn-squash-penne-bacon

You gotta love vegetable baskets. My pantry and fridge are full of veggies from my friends getting those baskets and not being able to eat them all! I have great friends :D

So when I got an acorn squash, I had to stop and think about what to do. Squash for me is a fall food, and it’s August! But I’m not going to let something like that stop me. I came across this recipe and it looked SO good. I had to make it.

Acorn Squash, like other winter squashes, is an excellent source of beta carotene (Vitamin A). It’s also high in Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese and a good source of Folate, Omega-3 fatty acids and Thiamin too. That’s a lot of nutrients! Plus it tastes good ;o)

Ingredients

1 acorn squash
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz (dry) penne
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for coating squash and garlic
4 slices thick bacon, sliced into 1″ pieces
1 teaspoon chopped, fresh Thyme
Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

2. Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half crosswise into wedge. Place the wedges into a casserole dish and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

3. Bake the squash for about 40 minutes, until soft. Leave the squash out to cool while you prepare the rest of the dish.

4. Cook the penne according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

5. Chop the bacon into 1 inch slices and cook until crispy. Peel the squash and cut into large chunks.

6. Once the bacon is crispy, remove and set aside. Add the garlic to the bacon grease and saute for a minute or two.

6. Stir in the thyme, penne, squash and finally the bacon. Enjoy!

Do I need to even say it’s good? It has bacon! The saltiness of the bacon, with the sweetness of the squash and brightness of the thyme make a really great, complimentary dish. The penne isn’t bad, but it’s sort of just in the background to provide some bulk. I didn’t add any additional oil because of all the bacon fat, but you would drizzle some olive oil over the whole dish if you want to add a little something to the penne.

For leftovers the next day, I added some pasta sauce to the mixture and it actually tasted great that way too! The bacon, thyme and squash still stood out, so if you like traditional pasta sauce, adding a bit of that won’t take away from the dish.

So who says you can’t have squash in the summer? Just add some fresh herbs and a little bacon and you are set!

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