My homegrown, giant squash was next in line to be eaten. I don't know about you, but it is the largest squash I have ever seen. I think it is called a banana squash. It weighed about 20 pounds and took a large butch knife swung at full force to crack open. If I had had a axe, it would have come in handy last night. Needless to say, this squash would have made the recipe 6 times over.
To save time or if you don't have a stash of squash sitting around, a bag of cubed butternut would be perfect. Another time saver would be an actual nut cracker, or just a bag of preshelled nuts. (But then they wouldn't be quite as special!)
This first time I made this I dirtied 6 pans! My dish washing husband protested! I had to figure out how to make it simpler. Now all the ingredients are roasted on a cookie sheet, the pasta boiled in one pot, and a pat of butter is browned in a small frying pan. Three dirty dishes isn't too many for this delicious pasta.
You can reduce the butter or bacon in the dish to make it a little lighter. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water to moisten the sauce.
Roasted Squash Pasta with Browned Butter and Walnuts
4 cups cubed hard squash, such as butternut or banana
1 large onion, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 sliced of thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces. (I used apple smoked)
a small pinch of red chili flakes
1/3 - 1/2 cup shelled walnut pieces
1 pound spaghetti
1-2 tablespoons butter
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Spread squash, onions, and bacon onto a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and chili flakes.
3. Roast 20-30 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes. (Depending on your oven it may all be brown and fragrant in 15 minutes. )
4. While squash is roasting boil spaghetti according to directions, but before you drain the pasta reserve a small cup of cooking liquid.
5. When the bacon is crisp, the squash browned and the onion soft turn off oven heat and toss walnuts onto cookie sheet. Stir. Keep warm while spaghetti finishes cooking.
6. In the last minutes of the pasta cooking, melt a tablespoon or two of butter. Swirl over the heat until the butter smells nutty and begins to turn brown. Immediately take off the heat.
7. In a large serving bowl toss squash, bacon, etc with the pasta and browned butter. Add a few dashes of pasta water.
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