Spectrum Warriors: Life Through The Autism Spectrum

Fall Flavours in a Light Summer Pasta

IMG_1050.JPGThe nights and mornings are getting crisper, a few leaves are starting to turn, sadly, fall is around the corner. I love fall, but I have enjoyed summer. I am however excited about bringing out my slow cooker and making soups, stews and all the flavours fall foods bring.

It was still quite warm the other day when I set out to make dinner, and having been on vacation recently, Mother Hubbard’s cupboards were kind of bare. I was delighted to find some fall flavours and wondered how best to put them together. Add a request from MJ to make a pasta (as always) and this little dish was born and will now be a staple in our house.

A lighter Squash and Bacon Pasta

1/2 butternut squash, cubed and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
4 slices of bacon (you can add more, but that’s all  I had left)
3 slices of serrano ham
A healthy handful of spinach, chopped finely
Pasta (any shape, but we used rotini noodles), you can also sub gluten-free pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth
2-3 tbsp Basil oil
Shredded cheese, amount you desire (we used about 1/4 cup smoked gouda, but parmesean would be just as good as well)

Cook bacon at 380 degrees  in the oven on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (this is seriously the best way to cook bacon, it comes out even, no grease splatters everywhere and once the grease congeals, you fold up the parchment paper and throw it out, leaving an easy-to clean cookie sheet).

While bacon is cooking, put your pot on to boil for pasta and peel and chop the squash – , this recipe is for 3, so feel free to adjust quantities based on the number of people you are feeding. Heat your olive oil in a frying pan, add squash and sautee until soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Note the bacon and ham add a lot of salt, so you may wish to wait on, or avoid salt altogether.  Cook pasta according to directions.

While the squash is cooking,  chop your spinach, and then your ham. We use serrano ham, MJ loves it very much (except for the icky white part as she calls it).  Once your squash is soft, add the broth and let it simmer while you take the bacon out and let it cool.

Here’s where you would also grate some cheese if you want to. MJ’s dairy free, so we didn’t add this to her meal and it was still just as good. The smoked gouda I used added a little extra smokey flavour and it was just enough cheese to add some substance, but not so much to make it heavy.

Chop your bacon and then add to the frying pan so the flavours add meld together. Drain your pasta and to the pan. Toss with the flavoured Basil Oil This has to be about my favourite kind of olive oil, it has so much flavour.

Dish up and then sprinkle with cheese if desired.



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