This is my favorite fall pasta recipe, with roasted butternut squash, smoky bacon, and sage. With garlic, shallots and parmesan cheese for extra flavor, this dish isn’t your typical fall pasta dish!
There’s a lot of recipes out there for butternut squash pasta but none are quite like this one! I love roasting butternut squash until it caramelizes, and then tossing it with sage that’s been “fried” in butter, smoky bacon, garlic and shallots. And if you know me, there’s some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in there too!
Indulge a little bit this fall with Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta. You won’t regret it!
If you’re still in the fall squash mood, try my roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Sage Butter recipe.
Butternut Squash Pasta Ingredients
- Rigatoni pasta – I like rigatoni the best for butternut squash pasta. You can also use penne or orecchiette.
- Butternut squash – I buy a pre-peeled and seeded butternut squash half. Then I dice it up into ½ inch cubes. I like relatively small cubes so they caramelize easily in the oven and mix really well into the pasta!
- Bacon – I like applewood smoked bacon the best.
- Extra virgin olive oil – extra virgin olive oil is used to roast our squash and to create a “sauce” for our pasta.
- Garlic – garlic…because garlic!
- Shallots – shallots and garlic are the perfect base for pretty much any pasta dish!
- Butter – butter adds a richness and a touch of creaminess.
- Sage – sage…because butternut squash and sage or like PB&J!
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – you can use regular parmesan cheese if preferred, to garnish.
- Hot pepper flakes (optional) – hot pepper flakes are optional if you like some heat.
How to Make Butternut Squash Pasta
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
- Roast squash.
Peel and cut squash into ½ inch cubes. Toss squash in 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out squash into a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees. Set aside.
- Render bacon.
Cook bacon in a large, dry pot until crispy. Drain excess fat out of the pot, leaving just the bacon and drippings.
Add 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, shallot, salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to the pot with the bacon. Sauté for 2 minutes. Turn heat to lowest setting.
- Boil pasta.
Boil the pasta in a separate pot.
- Fry sage.
While the pasta is boiling, add butter to a medium pan over medium-high heat. When the butter melts and just starts to bubble, add the sage leaves. Swirl them around in the pan for 45-60 seconds.
Pour the sage and the butter into the pot with the bacon. Add the drained pasta and toss.
Add the roasted squash and gently toss.
Top with parmesan shavings.
Substitutions and Variations
- Extra protein: Add Grilled Pork Tenderloin or Baked Chicken Breast.
- Pasta shape: Penne or orecchiette pasta instead of rigatoni.
- Bacon: Black forest or another type of bacon instead of applewood smoked.
- Butter: Only olive oil instead of butter and olive oil. Butter makes everything better though!
- Cheese: You can add a handful of grated parmesan to the pasta itself.
- Sauté vs. roast squash: You can sauté butternut squash chunks in a pot if preferred, but you won’t achieve the same caramelization!
Serve your pasta hot, right away. I don’t recommend making butternut squash pasta ahead!
Butternut Squash Pasta Storage
Store butternut squash pasta, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, stirring often.
More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love!
- Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Shallot Cream
- Creamy Lemon Pasta (Pasta al Limone)
- The Ultimate Pasta With Bacon and Peas
- Pasta with Caramelized Onion, Italian Sausage & Parsley
- Authentic Amalfi Coast Pasta Carbonara
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 1 ½ pounds butternut squash diced into ½ inch cubes
- 1 pound applewood smoked bacon diced
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 medium shallots finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 handful fresh sage leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Hot pepper flakes optional to taste
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or parmesan cheese to garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F. On a baking sheet, toss squash in ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Spread out squash into a single layer. Roast for 25-30 minutes until just caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While the squash is roasting, cook bacon in a large, dry pot over medium heat until crispy. Drain excess fat out of the pot, leaving just the bacon and drippings.
- Add ⅓ cup olive oil, garlic, shallot, salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to the pot with the bacon. Sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat. Turn heat to lowest setting (to keep mixture warm).
- Boil the pasta in a separate pot.
- While the pasta is boiling, add butter to a medium pan over medium-high heat. When the butter melts and just starts to bubble, add the sage leaves. Swirl them around in the pan for 45-60 seconds. If you want brown butter, keep the sage in the butter for longer.
- Pour the sage and the butter into the pot with the bacon. Add the drained pasta and toss.
- Add the roasted squash and gently toss (you don’t want to squish the squash!).
- Top with parmesan shavings, and more hot pepper flakes if desired.
- You can also use penne or orecchiette pasta!
- Applewood smoked is my favorite kind of bacon for this pasta but most other types of bacon will be delicious too!
- You can use just olive oil instead of the butter. Of course butter makes everything better though!
- You can add a handful of grated parmesan to the pasta itself! Yum