Gourmet Minutes: Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta


Web Editor - Amanda Roberts

Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta


  • 4 slices bacon, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 8 large fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon minced (see note)

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 6 scallions, sliced thin (about 1 cup)

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 pound penne pasta or other short, tubular pasta

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

  • 4 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon

  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted


1. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add whole sage

leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into

small bowl, reserving bacon fat and bacon-sage mixture separately.

2. Return skillet to high heat, add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat (adding olive oil if necessary) and heat until glossy. Add squash in even layer and cook, without stirring, until it starts to caramelize, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until spotty brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add butter and allow to melt, about 30 seconds. Add scallions, nutmeg, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and minced sage; cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer; continue to cook until squash is tender, 1 to 3 minutes longer.

3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt

and pasta. Cook until just al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, and transfer

back to Dutch oven.

4. Add squash mixture to pasta; stir in 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and reserved

bacon-sage mixture, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta liquid. Garnish with fresh shaved

parmesan and almonds, Serve.