Freezer Food Friday: Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta

ready for the freezer
The butternut squash is such a pretty color in this dish, what a wonderful pop of orange! Surprisingly, I followed the recipe on this one. It comes from an old Cooking Light and I can't believe I never gave it go before. Between the smell of roasting butternut squash and rosemary and then the bacon in the oven a little later; I had a grumbling and hungry tummy by the time these were heading into the freezer. I wound up using three tin foil 'cake' pans to hold all the past this made instead of the single dish that is instructed. And I have no doubt that each of those will be perfect for feeding Daddy-O, MrO and myself for dinner when the time comes.
As before, I wrapped the pans with plastic, pressing out as much air as possible then covered in tin foil (with written instructions on how to prep) before putting them into the freezer. I am going to guesstimate the cooking time here that will be needed when we go to re-heat. probably between 15-20 minutes w/ the foil on and another 5-10minutes with the foil removed. I did remember to spray the pans down this time prior to filling them... easy to forget when you aren't throwing them directly into the oven.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta

¾ tea salt, divided

½ tea dried rosemary

¼ tea fresh ground black pepper

3 cups (1inch) cubed peeled butternut squash

Cooking spray

6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)

8 ounces uncooked mini penne

¼ cup all purpose flour

2 cups milk

¾ cup shredded sharp provolone cheese

1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

roasted and ready


Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.

butternut overhead

Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. (I actually gave the 'baking the bacon' method a try here and I think I am a convert. I lined the baking sheet with foil, placed my cooling racks on top and then lined the racks with the bacon. Set the oven at 400 and let cook for about 10 minutes. I flipped the bacon over at that point and cooked for another 5 minutes.) Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside.


Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.

Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. (see my instructions above for how I froze and will reheat. I will update once I have given one of these a go in the re-heating process to get you all a more definite time for this part).

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