Butternut Squash, Bacon and Kale Three-Cheese Pasta
Pennsylvania State University
State College, Pa.
This riff on macaroni and cheese features a different pasta shape and three types of cheese. Butternut squash and kale add a vegetable component, and bacon imparts a smoky flavor. For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon. Either way, this pasta bake makes for a comforting cold-weather dish.
30 oz. cooked ziti
6 3/4 oz. bacon, diced
10 3/4 oz. 1/4-in. diced onions
1 lb. + 6 oz. butternut squash, peeled, 1/2-in. diced
3/4 oz. minced garlic
9 1/4 oz. chopped kale
56 oz. béchamel sauce
9 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 oz. grated Romano cheese
- Pre-prep: Cook pasta slightly less than al dente.
- Saute bacon until fat is rendered and crispy. Add onions, squash and garlic and saute until onions are translucent.
- Add chopped kale and cook until it starts to wilt, using little water if needed. Remove mixture from heat and reserve.
- Combine pasta, bechamel sauce, bacon and kale mixture and mozzarella and Swiss cheeses.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir to evenly incorporate, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Transfer to greased hotel pan and sprinkle with Romano cheese.
- Cover and bake in preheated 375 F oven, until 165 F internal temperature. Remove foil before done, so top gets golden brown.