Squash & Pancetta Baked Pasta

Squash & Pancetta Baked Pasta

For a casual entertaining meal that you can pop in the oven while guests are busy, make this delicious baked pasta recipe ahead of time.

You’ll Need

  • 1 butternut squash, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 6 slices of pancetta (Italian bacon) or prosciutto, chopped
  • ¼ cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1 lb (4 cups) fusilli or rotini pasta
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups low-fat milk
  • ½ cup gruyere cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Prep and Cook

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • 2
    Cut squash into 1-inch cubes.
  • 3
    Place cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • 4
    Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing to coat.
  • 5
    Roast for approximately 25 minutes or until tender, tossing once in between.
  • 6
    In a large non-stick skillet, sauté onion and garlic in butter until onions are translucent.
  • 7
    Add sage, walnuts and pancetta to the skillet and cook until the edges of the pancetta are crisp.
  • 8
    Set aside.
  • 9
    Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender or al dente.
  • 10
    Drain, rinse thoroughly and put aside.
  • 11
    Melt butter in pasta pot.
  • 12
    Add flour and stir until combined.
  • 13
    Pour in milk, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly.
  • 14
    Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and then continue to stir until sauce is thick and creamy.
  • 15
    Remove from the heat and stir in cheese until it melts.
  • 16
    Add pasta to cheese sauce mixture and toss until combined.
  • 17
    If sauce seems sticky, add reserved pasta water.
  • 18
    Mix squash and contents of the skillet into the pasta and spoon into a buttered 11" x 9" casserole dish.
  • 19
    Top with grated parmesan cheese and bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until pasta is heated through.

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