Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon and Crispy Sage – the ultimate bowl of comfort to keep you cozy all winter long. Quick, easy, and on the table in under 30 minutes, it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.
My favorite dishes are ones that have a perfect, balanced combination of textures and flavors. This Creamy Butternut Squash is big on both.
Creamy – A luscious, decadent sauce that is ultra-smooth clinging to every noodle. Pureed butternut squash is so creamy. Add to that butter and cream and you’ve got a heavenly sauce that you might just want to eat with a spoon.
Crunchy – Topped with bits of bacon that have been sautéed until perfectly crunchy.
Crispy – Crispy sage (!) sprinkled on top.
Chewy – From perfectly cooked al dente linguine.
Slightly Sweet – Oven roasting the butternut squash deepens and really brings out its flavor.
Salty – From the bacon to the perfectly salted pasta.
Smoky – Bacon sprinkled on top adds the perfect complement of smoky flavor to balance the sweetness of the butternut squash.
Savory and fragrant – Just a little sautéed onion and garlic, as well as sage, develops the flavor without overpowering the delicate flavor of the butternut squash.
Umami – That all important secret flavor- The Yummy Factor – from the parmesan cheese and chicken bouillon.
This recipe for this Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta was inspired by the flavors in my Butternut Squash Ravioli. My kids loved it so much, I wanted to turn it into a pasta sauce that could be ready in the time it takes to boil pasta. My son thinks it’s the best pasta he’s ever had! And it’s a good thing – I’ve been testing and tweaking this recipe for several months.
I’ve used oven roasted butternut squash as the base of this sauce. I love how roasting brings out the sweetness and deepens the flavor of the squash, almost caramelizing it. I also love how easy it is to roast the squash. Check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to make butternut squash puree. Simply cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and bake for an hour. It comes out perfectly cooked and the skin comes off so easily.
I also tested this recipe by peeling and cubing the squash, then sautéing it and boiling it until soft. Three reasons I don’t like this method:
I don’t have the patience for doing all that work by hand when the oven can do it all for me.
I didn’t like the taste and texture as much as the oven roasted squash.
It takes too much time to go through all this process at dinner time. Yes, you could make the sauce in advance, but with some butternut squash puree in the freezer or a can in the cupboard, you can finish this Creamy Butternut Squash sauce by the time the pasta is done boiling. You can even substitute canned pumpkin for the butternut squash puree.
To make the Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta, sauté the chopped bacon over medium to medium high heat until crisp. Stir in the chopped sage and toss to coat. Remove with a slotted spoon.
You can use the same pan, if you like, to make the sauce. But if the bacon left anything too browned in the pan, I like to rinse it out so it doesn’t make the sauce bitter. Add butter to the pan and sauté the chopped onion and garlic. When it’s soft and translucent, add the butternut squash puree and stir it around for a minute. Then add the cream and chicken broth. I always use water and bouillon for the broth. It heightens the flavor, and I can have the strength I choose. When it comes to a simmer, stir in the parmesan cheese until melted. Remove from heat and toss with hot, buttered pasta. Top with the bacon and sage.
Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon and Crispy Sage
- 1 lb linguine or other pasta (454g)
- 2 tablespoons butter (1oz, 28g)
- 6 ounces bacon chopped (170g)
- ½ cup chopped sage
- 2 tablespoons butter (1oz, 28g)
- ½ onion chopped fine
- 3 cloves garlic chopped fine
- 1 ½ cups butternut squash puree (11.25oz, 319g)
- 1 cup heavy cream (8oz, 227g)
- 1 cup chicken broth or 1 cup water and 1 bouillon cube (8oz, 227g)
- ½ cup parmesan cheese (2oz, 57g)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons butter. Salt to taste.
- Sauté the chopped bacon over medium to medium high heat until crisp. Stir in the chopped sage and toss to coat. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- You can use the same pan, if you like, to make the sauce. But if the bacon left anything too browned in the pan, I like to rinse it out so it doesn’t make the sauce bitter.
- Add butter to the pan and sauté the chopped onion and garlic over medium to medium-high heat until it is soft and translucent.
- Add the butternut squash puree and stir it around for a minute.
- Add the cream and chicken broth (or water and bouillon).
- When it comes to a simmer, stir in the parmesan cheese until melted.
- Remove from heat and toss with hot, buttered pasta.
- Top with the bacon and sage.
- Serve immediately. As the pasta sits the sauce will thicken.