My house was CLEAN (okay, totally picked up, not “clean”) last week when I hosted my book club. However, it has been on a steady decline ever since. And we weren’t ever home all that much this weekend. Mid-December in Michigan has graced us with SUN and 40 degree temperatures…and we took full advantage. We hiked at the dunes with the dog, we walked the dog several times, and I even wore flip flops to run around. It was glorious!
I needed a nice weekend of all things kiddo singing, Santa, and fun! Especially after last week.
Last week finished a bit of a rough for me, culminating with locking my keys in the car in the hospital parking garage. After many failed attempts to recall the 5-digit passcode on the side of my car, our nanny came to the rescue. She was able to stop by the house, grab my spare, and bring it to me. I lucked out big time with her saving the day!
Prior to locking my keys in the car, my mom was inquiring what I’d be serving on Christmas Day during our morning chat on the phone. As hostess, I hadn’t made it past homemade cinnamon rolls because as far as I’m concerned, Christmas is complete with family, a visit from the big man, and homemade cinnamon rolls as it has become our tradition.
I think we settled on shrimp cocktail and a few snackies. That was until I fell back in love with this Roasted Butternut Squash Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta all over again as I edited these pictures over the weekend. If there’s a pasta meal worthy of holiday love, it is this one!
If you love goat cheese, look no further than this delightful, sweet and savory masterpiece. Bacon, butternut squash, pecans, and PASTA. Even the onions in this dish – perfection in every way. If you don’t make this one…well, you’re missing out BIG time.
Mom, how does this look for Christmas dinner?
- 3-4 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¾″ cubes*
- 1 red onion, cut into ½″ cubes
- 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 5 strips of bacon, diced and cooked to crispy
- ¾ cup unsalted pecan pieces
- 1 lb rigatoni or penne
- 10 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 tsp dry sage
- ¾ cup of reserved pasta water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place diced squash and onion on each of 2 large baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss well to coat and arrange in a single layer. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tender (but not mushy).
- In the meantime, heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add diced bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Bring a large pot of water to boiling, add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
- Once pasta is done, reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the rest of the water.
- Add butternut squash, onions, pecans, bacon, goat cheese, cooking water, and sage to pasta pot. Toss to coat pasta in cheese as it melts.
*yield about 3 lbs of diced squash
Weekly Menu: December 16th – 20th
- Sunday: leftovers with steamed broccoli
- Monday: beef tacos/taco salad with guacamole and Spanish rice
- Tuesday: Creamy Parmesan Mushroom and Spinach Tortellini Soup
- Wednesday: Slow-Cooker Green Chicken Chili
- Thursday: out for Christmas parties x2