Broth, thickened with flour and enriched with crème fraîche, forms the savory sauce in this dish. We like the earthy heartiness of kale, which helps balance the sweetness from the squash. You could also use Swiss chard, or for a more peppery bite, try substituting mustard greens.
5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta), campanile, or other short pasta
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine squash and oil in a large bowl; toss well. Arrange squash mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
Cook pasta 7 minutes or until almost al dente, omitting salt and fat. Add kale to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta mixture.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Bring 1 3/4 cups broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Combine remaining 1/4 cup broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to broth. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in crème fraîche.
Combine squash, pasta mixture, bacon, onion mixture, and sauce in a large bowl; toss gently. Place pasta mixture in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned.
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Did not want the calories from creme fraiche, so I used 1% mik with greek yogurt stirred in, and it was absolutely delicious. Husband agreed that he's happier without the heavy taste of dairy fats. Also used 50% less thickner because I used cornstarch instead of flour, which I think makes a smoother sauce. Because of that tremendous calorie savings, I used an extra ounce of Gruyere, and I'd do it again. Thanks to reviwer who suggested adding some sun-dried tomatoes, cremni mushrooms, and a bit of corriander and red pepper to the sauce. Made this in the morning, then baked it after work. Served with roasted asparagus for a great dinner.
This recipe has been in my rotation for a long time and is a family favorite and requested by my clients for whom I am a personal chef. Last night I decided to raise the bar. I substituted proscuitto for the bacon; leeks for the onions, doubled the garlic, added 1/4 cup of chopped sun dried tomato. I also added 1/3 cup of fresh choped basil, 3/4 tsp of roasted ground coriander and cayenne to taste to the chicken broth mixture. Once I removed it from the heat I added 1/3 cup of reduced fat feta cheese. It was amazing!!
this was a good as everyone said! sautéed onions and then put kale over those to wilt. foil covered roasting pan and casserole dish for easy clean up. microwaved bacon and used the whole pkg (go for the gusto) don't know that it even needs bacon, the other flavors are so robust. i am a garlic lover, but i might cut down to 2-3 next time. it didn't taste overly garlic, but i smelled overly garlic the next day!!!! used light sour cream and next time will use swiss or mozzarella. just for cost. could even use more kale. tasty.
Worth the work - the family loved it! Made a morning of being in the kitchen and included this dish on my list as the prep dovetails nicely with other make ahead meals. Make bacon for breakfast and for this dish, drain some fat and saute onions before cleaning the pan, for example. Added sauteed mushrooms, used three sliced of bacon, subbed sour cream for cf, and seasoned the squash when I put it in the oven to bake. Assembled in the morning, and popped in the oven in time to have dinner during half-time. I think I will try gemelli the next time. If using convection, be sure to reduce the bake time for both the squash and the actual dish.
Simply amazing! This is probably my top dish, I have had the best compliments on it. It does take a while to prep all the separate ingredients as I have not figured out a time saving way to go about this recipe. Regardless, I will continue to make this over and over again.
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