It’s the first weekend of October – hooray! Colder days, but not too cold. Pumpkins, apples, baking. Halloween! However, it looks like the rain this weekend is going to squash my plans to hang spooky skeleton hand lights in the trees, decorate the front porch and go apple picking. Perfect weather for a comforting casserole, though, so I thought I’d recycle a favorite fall recipe from the early days of my blog. After all, sometimes you don’t need MORE recipes, just a reminder of the good ones you already have. Right?
This hearty dish is a crowd-pleaser (if the crowd appreciates butternut squash), and a great way to say, “Welcome, Fall!” You could certainly make it vegetarian, minus the bacon and chicken stock/bouillon (swap out for vegetable). Don’t skip the fresh rosemary, though– that’s key.
Since I was overly wordy back in the early days, I’ve condensed the recipe to a one-page printable. (Wow– I’ve learned a lot since then.) For old times’ sake, or to see the step-by-step photos, you could check out my original post here. (Thanks and credit again to Susan Spungen for the original recipe.)
Though I reserve the right to re-post more Fall Favorites, I’ve just created a “Fall Favorites” category menu (see sidebar to the right). Lots of good rainy day cooking ideas there, and don’t be afraid to mix things up a little. For example, you could try this Harvest Salad with the nice aged cheddar you just bought after sampling it in the grocery store. (Or was that just me?)
And finally– for more Fall inspiration, check out my new Instagram feed! (See box in the sidebar to the right, below.) I’m getting so Tech I might start writing my own code soon. Or– I could just go make some Ice Cream Sand-Witches.
Baked Butternut Squash Rigatoni Print Recipe
Serves 6-8 as a main course
- 1 box (16 oz.) rigatoni
- Kosher salt
- 8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1” pieces
- 3 large shallots, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- 1 small butternut squash, cut into 1” cubes (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups chicken broth (16 oz. or ½ box)
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella or fontina cheese
- 1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- Freshly grated black pepper and kosher salt
Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente (using approx. 1 tbsp kosher salt in the pasta water). Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp; remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set aside. Drain all but 1 tbsp bacon fat from pan. Add shallots to remaining bacon fat and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to caramelize (about 5 minutes). Add rosemary and garlic and cook one minute more. Add cubed squash, chicken broth and bouillon cube; cover and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a knife or fork. (About 10 minutes.) Stir in cream, mozzarella or fontina, and 1 cup parmigiano cheese; season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in cooked pasta and cooked bacon. Transfer mixture to a 9”x13” (+/-) casserole dish or lasagne pan and top with remaining ½ cup parmigiano cheese.
Bake at 350ºF for 30-45 minutes, or until top is slightly browned and sauce is bubbling. Reheats well (microwave is best) for leftovers the next day or two, though it will be less “saucy” since the pasta absorbs extra liquid.