Bacon and Butternut Pasta

  • inwinecountry Posted: 01/11/12
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    Great recipe! It is very time consuming and does use lots of pots/pans/utensils but I think it's worth it. I get a CSA box and am always trying to find new ways to use veggies. I loved a new way to use kale. The flavor profile is fabulous. I'll definitely add this to my rotation. I would suggest making another recipe simultaneously and peel and bake the butternut squash ahead of time. I used the other half of my large squash for a soup. Next time I might make french onion soup as It takes time to caramelize the onions.

  • costello15 Posted: 01/07/12
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    Loved this. Very unique and wonderful flavor.

  • mrshartzell Posted: 01/10/12
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    Very good and rich tasting. I used mexican crema instead of crème fraîche because our little grocery store doesn't carry cr.fr. Turned out very rich and yummy. I may have pre-cooked my squash a little too long, it was a little too soft. Bacon makes everyting delicious! My main complaint is that I had a mountain of dishes. Really, it took me two very full loads in the dishwasher plus I hand washed the pans. That scene is a little overwhelming on a weeknight!

  • KarinF Posted: 01/08/12
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    This is a really tasty recipe; however, it requires a lot of dishes. So, it might be best for nights that you're not too busy. However, the good news is that you can take leftovers to lunch.... I bought my squash, pre-cubed, at Trader Joes. You definitely need two bags because one is not enough. This was my first experience with kale and it came out perfect. The roasted squash is outstanding. I made as the recipe directed, but I can definitely see ways to modify. Serve with a very simple spinach salad and dinner is done!

  • LadyAlethea Posted: 01/12/12
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    I loved this recipe. My husband said it was tasty but was put off by the texture of the squash. I used to have a TINY kitchen, so I've gotten used to being economical with my pots and pans, and though I can see where this might use a LOT of pans, I didn't have that issue but it did make preparation take a little longer than it might have since everything was made one item at a time. I also had to substitute Philadelphia Cream Cheese's new Cooking Cream for the creme fraiche; I didn't have time to run to the little Mexican grocery for crema instead. It turned out lovely; the cooking creme doesn't separate at high temperatures and has a delightfully tangy creaminess like creme fraiche. This is a recipe I'll definitely make again, with some minor alterations in how I cut the squash to accommodate for my husband's texture issues.

  • Kismet88 Posted: 01/10/12
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    Creamy, sweetness from the carmalized onions and roasted butternut squash, tempered with kale, with a salty hit from bacon. How could you go wrong with that. I used half a medium-sized butternut squash and a whole red onion. Also used five strips of bacon and upped the cream in vegetable broth. You definately didn't need any more gruyere. This one is certainly a keeper.

  • daneanp Posted: 01/22/12
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    I thought this was excellent but my family was so/so on it. The only changes I had were to season (salt, pepper) the squash before roasting, using sour cream in place of the creme fraiche, and swiss in place of the gruyere. Maybe I'll toss in some fresh herbs with the squash next time and I like the idea of using the Philly cooking creme in place of the creme fraiche. Oh - and this recipe is for weekends or when one has more time. I actually cooked the bacon and the squash in the morning and then completed the remainder of the meal closer to dinner time to break up the amount of dishes and mess.

  • TheMomChef Posted: 01/17/12
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    This took me from thinking I don't like butternut squash to a fan. The combination of sweet squash, nutty cheese, greens, onions and salty bacon is fantastic. Clean-up, however, requires a long-term commitment to the kitchen. Lots of pans, pots and bowls. Read my full review at: http://bit.ly/xouvhH

  • ShelleyB Posted: 01/07/12
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    This recipe is excellent, full of flavor, and will be making again. It was easy to make vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using veggie broth. I also had some fresh thyme on hand so chopped and added this to the sauce. The flavor was perfect and with the butternut squash and kale it was healthy dish full of lots of nutrients.

  • JessicaLuu Posted: 01/17/12
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    This was yummy. I had to substitute arugula, because the store was out of everything else. The sauce was creamy and delicious.

  • RosemaryS Posted: 01/18/12
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    I'm a Cooking Light newbie as I just received a subscription for Christmas. This was the first recipe I tried and it was worth every dirty pan it produced! Great flavor combo. Everyone loved it. I wasn't sure if it would work as a make-ahead meal. It did. I made the casserole early in the morning then had my son put it in the oven for about 40 minutes before dinner time. I came home to a great hot family meal.

  • beachgalny Posted: 01/16/12
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    This was utterly fantastic! My husband, who has been known to have seconds of things he really likes, had THIRDS of this! I adored it as well! The nuttiness of the creme fraiche was fantastic, and the bacon was just enough for flavor without greasiness. I used whole wheat pasta for extra flavor and nutrition, and it was great. I just had to cook it a little longer than the 7 minutes in the recipe; I just tasted it after a while and when it was approaching al dente, I added the kale.

  • kellyrnh Posted: 01/21/12
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    YUM. To quote myself while eating this "It's been a long time since I've actually had the urge to lick my plate". This dish was outstanding, well worth the time and effort to make. If you can get creme fraiche, do it. It makes a difference. I thought this was a casual comfort food before I made it, but I would definitely serve this to company.

  • lalala59 Posted: 01/29/12
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    Delicious, but a lot of individual steps of prep work! If you don't want to be buzzing about the kitchen, get another person to be your "sous chef" to help with certain tasks. Pre-cubed squash and kale (both available at Trader Joes) would cut down a couple steps. My changes: I'm not a huge fan of kale but I love swiss chard -- I sauteed up the chard stalks with the onion and added the leafy greens into the pasta for the last 2 minutes of cooking. I seasoned the squash w/ salt and and pepper before roasting. Other than that, stuck to the recipe! The creme fraiche is lovely; it tastes similar to sour cream so that could be a fine sub if you are in a pinch. This makes a LOT of food! Plan on inviting friends or noshing on leftovers for several days.

  • HbbMad Posted: 02/04/12
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    So so awesome. I was skeptical because it didn't look like much when it was finished, but it tastes so good!! the flavors are just perfect together. One of my new fav pasta dishes. I used mascarpone instead of creme fraiche b/c that's what I had on hand. I will agree with others that it used lots of pots to make but it is totally worth it.

  • alphapythia Posted: 02/12/12
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    It really was very very good. Changes; I doubled the bacon and the cheese (because 2 pieces? 1/3 cup? Who are you kidding? I've bought this stuff now, I'm gonna use it.) I didn't feel like making or tracking down a $10 thingie of creme fraiche; so I used full fat sour cream (it was fine. I'm sure my extra bacon drippings made up for the fat loss.) Everything in it took 1/2 again as long as it said, except like, cooking the pasta. The sauce took forever to thicken, the water would not boil, the prep is ridiculously complicated, and it had to bake almost 45 minutes to brown. That said it was "holiday good." You would not be ashamed to serve it for Thanksgiving.

  • helloruthere Posted: 01/13/12
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    Lots of work, but can be done. Lots of pan to wash afterwards. I tried the recipe then I added some chicken with the onions and garlic and added more bacon Much Better. Also I feel like I might have used too much butternut.

  • KellyDiff Posted: 01/18/12
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    Philadelphia, PA

    Totally delicious. I subbed out the crème fraîche with Philadelphia brand Cooking Creme (Savory garlic flavor) and roasted the squash with 1/2 T. olive oil instead of 1 T. Even my 3 year old daughter liked it (the pasta at least; I'm pretty sure a piece or two of kale even sneaked into her belly, although she pushed the bigger pieces aside; next time I would chop the kale up much finer!). With those substitutions it worked out to 9 WW PP for a serving - not exactly super light, but great for a "I-need-carbs" night. Also definitely too time consuming for a weeknight meal, although I actually prepared it the night before (at the same time I was making that evening's meal) and refrigerated - pre-assembled I just popped it in the oven when I got home from work!

  • drinkfairy1 Posted: 01/07/12
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    This recipe is awesome if you like squash and kale. I added some extra cheese to the top and also some extra cooked crumbled bacon after the dish was cooked.

  • cwesterfield Posted: 01/05/12
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    I used 1/2 the garlic called for, and used sour cream instead of creme fresh....very good. Note- easily over cooked.

  • ellenburns Posted: 01/18/12
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    This recipe is a keeper! I did read the reviews and did my normal "added more garlic" (I always do - I'm not afreaid of it - more bacon - (isn't funny how we read Cooking LIGHT and still add on some calories!) - and more gruyere on top. The butternut pasta was wonderful with the kale. You can add other veggies to this as well, we had brussle sprouts and ledtovers got mixed in with the little that was left of the pasta dish - excellante! Yes, used a lot of pots and pans but I roasted squash earlier (I put foil on baking sheet so would not have another thing to wash. I forgot to spray with non-stick but there was no problem.) All the little steps were easy and well worth the effort. By the way, I think my flour mixture went into a too hot broth as I ended up with clumps of cooked flour - so I strained and then added more flour but sifted it in. You'd never know.....

  • TracyK97 Posted: 01/22/12
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    Delicious! I also used the Philly Cooking Creme in place of creme fraiche. I am not a huge fan of leafy greens, but the kale was outstanding in this recipe.

  • blossomingtulip Posted: 02/26/12
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    Great recipe!

  • steponme Posted: 09/23/12
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    Missouri City, TX

    Delicious; I did cheat with extra cheese;)

  • SUEOHB Posted: 01/26/12
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    Excellent flavors. I halved the recipe, but increased the bacon - used 3 pieces of bacon (which I baked in oven at same time as I roasted the butternut squash). When i saw price of Gruyere.. I decided to use some shredded Asiago which i had at home, and it was fine. Also used sour cream in place of creme fraiche. I also used Swiss Chard.

  • Debbie425 Posted: 01/25/12
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    Absolutely delicious! My husband even devoured 2 big bowls of it! I couldn't find creme fraiche, so I used sour cream instead...which actually works out good, because it has about half the calories and fat of creme fraiche. I used swiss chard instead of kale, and packaged shredded swiss instead off shredding my own gruyere (who has the time?) It's 8 Weight Watchers points per 1 1/2 cup serving, but was probably a bit less because of the sour cream. The serving size was big enough to be perfectly satisfying. There is such an interesting mix of flavors: the butternut squash is a little sweet, while the red pepper adds just a hint of spicyness. And the sauce was plenty enough to make it nice and creamy - not dry at all. This is one instance where the actual recipe lived up be as good as the photo looks, if not better. I can't wait to have leftovers for dinner tomorrow night!

  • jreilly Posted: 01/31/12
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    Sooooo amazing! It's sweet, salty, and spicy! I actually quadrupled the bacon and instead of kale or chard (don't like either) I used spinach. I threw in the spinach when the recipe called for the garlic. Next time I will actually increase the spinach a cup or two. This recipe is a definite keeper!

  • mannadonn Posted: 02/01/12
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    The whole family loved this recipe. From the 50 year old to the 5 year olds. Definitely something I will be making again! Most of my family even said they had no idea they liked butternut squash. I love introducing them to new foods!!

  • curatrix Posted: 01/29/12
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    I'm with the plate-lickers on this one! It was absolutely deee-licious. Only modification I made was using half-fat creme fraiche. Did not need to bake quite as long as recipe indicates (but that could be my oven).

  • donnadeleon Posted: 03/17/12
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    Amazingly rich and smokey... Fantastic winter recipe!! Used a good concentrated homemade broth rather than the canned. More kale is fine - Iused about 6 cups because that is what I had. I used a thick-cut wood-smoked turkey bacon browned in about a tsp of olive oil with great success. Be careful not to overcook the pasta in the boiling water because it cooks more in the oven (7 minutes total worked - including the 2 minutes for the kale)... you really want it to be underdone before placing in the oven, as it will both thicken the sauce and soften when it absorbs some of the liquid while baking. Like others, I doubled the ammount of cheese topping.

  • dusher Posted: 03/17/12
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    This recipe is definitely a 'keeper.' Very straightforward. I didn't have kale, so used arugula instead. I think it would be good with any green, as the recipe suggests. I also used heavy cream. A superb comfort food.

  • SClipp2 Posted: 03/08/12
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    Loved this! The only thing I'll change next time is to add more bacon. Yes, I know...I shouldn't...but who are you kidding? I also couldn't find creme fraiche, so I used what I had on hand...low fat sour cream and it was still perfect. Lots of dishes and cleanup, but well worth it. There are only two of us so we're looking forward to leftovers for a few days.

  • MarlaInMagnolia Posted: 11/11/12
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    Outstanding INDEED! A wonderful melange of flavor and texture. And packed full of goodness with the kale and squash. My local grocery didn't have creme fraiche, so I used light sour cream and it worked well to give a nice creamy texture without loading on the fat. I look forward to making it again soon.

  • loribrowning1 Posted: 11/28/12
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    My meat-and-potatoes boyfriend appoved this one. He said "You can't even taste the green stuff." Which means it's good.

  • SummerHenry Posted: 01/15/13
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    Best Cooking Light recipe that I have used ever!

  • blc914 Posted: 01/19/13
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    I made this after making my own creme fraiche...it was delicious. However, I recommend the lazy route of using sour cream. It it delicious, but next time I'm trying the sour cream route.

  • MrsDay2010 Posted: 02/17/13
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    I made this for my husband, mother-in-law and myself. I used large elbow macaroni and sour cream instead of creme fraiche (too hard to find in the store). It was a bit labor intensive, but it was delicious. I will definitely make it again.

  • Linndog Posted: 10/14/12
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    Made this for my vegetarian sister in law and everyone loved it. Used unsalted vegetable broth and tri colored pasta. It looked and tasted great.

  • carolfitz Posted: 02/27/13
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    Pretty good family dinner BUT lots of clean-up. Made to directions subbing sour cream for creme fraiche and cooking the onions longer to deepen the flavor. Cooked the squash/bacon/onions/garlic, prepped the kale and ran the dishwasher in the morning. Sauce & assembly came together pretty easily in the evening. Served with spinach/apple/scallion salad (salad dressing from Mar 2010 CL recipe for an unbaked bacon & butternut pasta).

  • liafinney Posted: 04/17/12
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    Glad I read all the reviews before I started, but it still required quite a bit of work. Had kale and all the ingredients on hand (which helps) and did roast the squash on foil lined sheet as suggested by others. Not sure I'd repeat this meal, due to the amount of time it requires, but it was very tasty. If I had more room in my freezer, I'd like to make ahead, maybe in 2 small pans, and have on hand for those nights I don't feel like cooking. Doesn't require much in the way of sides, as it has it all in one!

  • alibeebu Posted: 05/17/12
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    This is outstanding just as written!! Great! Creamy, delicious and satisfying. Now as someone who has made this a few times, I have some suggestions. In a small town, some ingredients are hard to find In a pinch I used 3/4c fat free greek yogurt and 1/4c heavy cream because it's what I had. Works just as amazingly. Still super creamy and delicious and cuts the fat a bit. Also, the red pepper in this could be cut in half I think. Any green will work for kale. I use baby spinach a lot. As far as the amount of pots and pans, when you cook your noodles, cook them in an oversized pot. When they are done cooking and drained return them to the pot. add all your ingredients to the pot as you go. saves one bowl and you can clean as you go. put your butternut squash in a ziplock to coat with oil. cover your roasting pan with foil. two more things less to clean. and if your going to make this vegetarian and omit bacon, roast your onions and garlic with your squash. saves a pan.

  • Rfuqua Posted: 01/03/13
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    Takes a long time but so worth it

  • AshleyL Posted: 01/06/13
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    This is delicious. I used sour cream instead of creme fraiche because I was lazy and didn't want to take the time to make it. The butternut squash was so buttery and sweet. I did think it was a bit cumbersome to make, but I think it is one that I will take to family dinners in the future.

  • MeganCalPoly Posted: 05/06/12
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    Excellent! I don't normally like butternut squash, so I waited a while to make this and am mad I waited so long. Both my husband and I *loved* it. My 2 year old was so-so on it. Ha. In any case the only "change" I made was using 1% milk in place of the fraiche b/c I forgot about that ingredient when I went shopping, but it didn't seem to matter. My husband said this needs to go into the rotation and I agree.

  • JeffAxelrod Posted: 04/04/12
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    So this was an excellent recipe, but I'm not sure how it passed the Cooking Light editors. It's far from "light" with an entire cup of creme fraiche, and the serving size is so small that this could only be a "side dish serving." Also, there is an excessive amount of sodium in the recipe compared to typical CL recipes--though it didn't taste salty. I have actually made another very similar recipe that somehow tastes better and is much healthier. Look for "Gnocchi With Squash and Kale" on Food Network's site. I don't see any reason why you couldn't follow that recipe and use the pre-cooked pasta in lieu of gnocchi, though I love the gnocchi.

  • CHILDERS1 Posted: 11/17/12
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    This was completely delicious. I used mex. cream instead of cream fraiche & asiago instead of gruyere. Next time I will cook the squash & bacon ahead of time. It took almost 2 hrs. excluding baking time but was well worth it. Loved the kale...will add a bit more next time. The flavors all blend together perfectly. My kids loved this too. Will def. make again!

  • DLWitt52 Posted: 02/09/14
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    One of our favorites. I prep and get it ready on the weekend and all my husband has to do is pop it in the oven. Instead of boiling the kale with the pasta, I add it to the bacon drippings--yum and same number of calories. A great way to get kids to eat kale and love it!

  • mangefood Posted: 05/02/14
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    This recipe is very flavorful. I added a few extra strips of bacon. Rotisserie chicken could easily be added for extra protein.

  • MissEm86 Posted: 02/09/14
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    Subbed pancetta for the bacon and low fat sour cream for the creme fraiche, otherwise made as is. Delicious - would make again!

  • brighteyes8 Posted: 11/04/13
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    Delicious and well worth making! Hard to tell it's light. Followed the recipe exactly with two exceptions: 1) I found that with true 1/2 in. sized cubes of squash (I used a measuring tape to gauge it), they only needed 15 minutes until they were tender, not 30 minutes, and 2) I used four strips of bacon instead of two. Felt that four strips was definitely *not* too much and really added to the flavor. Not overcooking squash is important because it otherwise turns to mush. Otherwise, extremely satisfying for the low calorie count and high vegetable input. Feel free to add more kale if you have it as it cooks down a lot. For the squash -- stick to 5 cups. Used gemelli pasta and that was a big hit with the family.

  • GJohnson Posted: 11/13/13
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    My entire family loved this recipe!!! As everyone else said, it utilizes a lot of pans, but it's worth it!

  • Barbawana Posted: 12/09/13
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    Ok I did change this up a bit because I didn't have all the ingredients on hand. Replaced kale with spinach. Used 4 bacon slices. The sauce I used chicken broth, milk, cream cheese and Greek yogurt with a pinch of nutmeg and crushed pepper and added some Parmesan cheese. Then I sprinkled the top with a a little Gorgonzola. It really was great! My husband even really enjoyed and I was worried he wouldn't care for it! Would definitely try it next time with sour cream and Gruyere though!

  • MeRhea Posted: 09/25/13
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    Love, love!! Wouldn't change a thing about this. I don't mind spending the time to make this since it lasts for many days. An hour or so in the kitchen makes a great dinner for a couple of nights as well as some extras to quickly throw in a lunch bag! We actually find the portions to be quite large.

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