This is the time of year when I get the itch to roast vegetables. Butternut squash and cauliflower are some of my favorite go-to roasting vegetables. This particular recipe was different from the rest of my pasta recipes, in that I used bacon. Then to make it even more bizarre, I roasted my vegetables in the bacon grease. It was an interesting twist to my usual olive oil vegetable roast.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, skip the bacon in this recipe and roast the vegetables in olive oil. I could imagine using veggie bacon might be an interesting alternative.
Ingredients – This recipe was mostly adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine. You can use any pasta in this recipe.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 ounces of bacon, chopped
2 cups of butternut squash, cubed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 head of cauliflower, trimmed into 1 1/2 inch florets (about 3 cups)
8 ounces orecchiette pasta, or any pasta you like
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more, shaved, for garnishing
1/2 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, coarsely chopped
Fine-grain sea salt and pepper for taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat olive oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Cook chopped bacon, reserving the bacon grease. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
Toss butternut squash, onion, and cauliflower with the reserved bacon grease and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Roast vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing midway through, until tender and caramelized, about 35-40 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta according to the pasta package directions. Reserve one cup of the pasta water. Drain cooked pasta and bring it back to the pot along with the reserved pasta water. Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese and roasted vegetables. Stir in parsley and sprinkle with cooked bacon bits. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.