Time for October's Crazy Ingredient Challenge!
The theme for this month was pumpkin and bacon. Bring on my happy dance.....seriously. If you are a regular reader you probably know that we (Ron, Kellen and I) and bacon lovers, and (like a big chunk of the rest of the United States) we look forward to ways to put it in anything. My thoughts immediately went to pasta because of the pumpkin component, and I wanted to go savory. However, though my husband is a bacon lover he is a pumpkin hater (boo hiss), and I thought this was prefect opportunity for cook for my girlfriends during our henna party. I thought a baked alfredo type pasta was just the ticket! I also used goat cheese because I know my girls love it (and it is another ingredient my husband is not a fan of). This pasta is wonderfully easy to put together, unique and a perfect fall savory dish.
My girlfriends and I absolutely loved this pasta, and it was perfect for our evening (check out the henna photos on my last meal plan post). I am sure that you could lighten up this dish, but I am not going to pretend that is a good idea in this case because this is a pasta that is meant to be sinful. One point to note- the sauce with seem a bit watery when poured into the baking dish, but it will thicken as it is in the oven. The flavors of bacon, pumpkin and goat cheese are amazing together, and each distinctive.
If you are interested in joining our challenge, stop over to Dawn of Spatulas on Parade to say hello and to get more information. I am excited to see what next month will bring!
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 Tbl olive oil
4 Tbl salted butter
2 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl fresh chopped sage
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
6 oz goat cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (+ a few extra Tbl for topping)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp white pepper
Salt, to taste
1 lb shaped pasta
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
In a large pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Add sage, cream, milk, 4 oz of goat cheese, pumpkin and Parmesan. Reduce heat to low, whisking continuously and allow the sauce to slowly bubble. Allow the sauce to cook for 7-10 minutes. The sauce should reduce a bit, but will not be thick (it will thicken in the oven). Taste and season with salt and white pepper (remember you will add bacon so do not over salt).
Remove from heat and gently stir in the pasta. Pour pasta into the prepared baking dish. Top with a few tablespoons of Parmesan, remaining goat cheese (crumble with your hands) and bacon.
Bake for 30-40 minute or until sauce is bubbly.