Butternut squash pasta is a recipe originally designed by my wife, Patty. Our butternut squash pasta is a savory, buttery dish with a touch of sweetness thanks to a pinch of brown sugar. It’s a fall-inspired spaghetti made with tender chunks of butternut squash, crispy bacon, Pecorino Romano cheese, Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs.
Everything is brought together with plenty of butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and fresh thyme (because you can’t make a fall recipe without thyme). We love this dinner because it’s so different and also really easy to make with minimal steps. The secret time-saving tip is boiling the pasta and butternut squash together all in the same pot—they’ll both be done at the exact same time with the perfect texture.
The Buttery Sauce
The sauce is a super light butter-based sauce spiced up with brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, thyme, and a little olive oil. If the sauce feels too dry after adding the pasta, you can use olive oil to help spread it out more. If you aren’t shy of butter, maybe opt for a little extra than the recipe calls for. I don’t think you’ll ever regret it!
Prepping the Butternut Squash
Look for a 1 pound butternut squash. I usually end up using 3-4 cups in the recipe. Prepping butternut squash consists of peeling, slicing lengthwise, removing the pulp with a spoon, and cutting into half-inch cubes. You can buy prepared butternut squash in with the other packaged veggies if you’re looking to speed things up. In all honesty, this step only takes a few minutes.
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Butternut squash pasta recipe made in a sweet and savory butter-based sauce with crispy bacon, parsley, thyme, Parmesan cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese.
- 3/4 pound spaghetti
- 1 pound of butternut squash, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 5 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup of butter (1/2 stick)
- ¼ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- 2–3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- shaved parmesan cheese for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and butternut squash. Cook pasta al dente, about 10 minutes. Butternut squash should be fork tender and fully cooked at the same time. Strain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large pan or skillet over medium-low heat. Be sure to stir to prevent burning. Cook until just starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard the majority of the bacon fat, leaving a little behind in the pan for flavor.
- Melt the butter in the same pan. Add the garlic, thyme, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Heat for 2-3 minutes to let all the flavors soak together. Stir occasionally to mix.
- Add the pasta, butternut squash, olive oil, and bacon to the saucepan. Toss with tongs to fully coat the pasta in the sauce. Top with pecorino romano cheese and parsley and continue to toss. Serve topped with shaved parmesan cheese and a little extra parsley.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 766
- Sugar: 8g
- Sodium: 684g
- Fat: 37g
- Saturated Fat: 14.9g
- Carbohydrates: 94.2g
- Fiber: 9.2g
- Protein: 19.8g
- Cholesterol: 53mg
Keywords: butternut squash pasta