Dishing Up the Dirt

Penne with Winter Squash & Bacon

A bowl of pure comfort. We ate this dinner after a long, rainy day of harvesting for our last week of CSA deliveries. It was windy and cold all day and we couldn’t wait to dry off and eat something hearty and nourishing. This is the kind of meal that takes little to no planning and comes together easily. I love the flavor combination of  sweet winter squash, salty bacon, and earthy kale. We topped our bowls with plenty of freshly grated cheese for a delicious weeknight dinner. I hope you all love this simple meal as much as we do. Pour a glass of wine, grab a fork, and dig in!

Cheer from Tumbleweed Farm

Penne with Winter Squash & Bacon

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
  • 2 heaping cups roughly chopped kale leaves
  • plenty of freshly grated cheese (we used a local sharp cheddar but parmesan works well too)
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss the butternut squash cubes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the squash is lightly browned and tender. Toss the squash halfway through cooking.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta reserving 1/3 cup of water.
  3. In a large skillet over medium high heat add the diced bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and add the chopped kale to the pan. Cook until the kale turns bright green and tender. About 3 minutes.
  4. Add the drained pasta back to the bowl it cooked in and stir in the butternut squash cubes, kale and bacon. Toss well. Add plenty of freshly grated cheese, pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and continue to toss. If the pasta seems dry add a little of the reserved pasta water.
  5. Divide between bowls and enjoy.


*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary

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One thought on “Penne with Winter Squash & Bacon

  1. Dann Hagstrom says:

    Family loved this even the 18 month old twins!

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