This recipe was inspired by one of our favorite vegetable gratins—a combination of summer ingredients that you should eat now, before Fall arrives and you switch to pastas like this. (P.S. We've also made this dish without the bacon, and it's just as good.)
This pasta is a cinch to put together. But you can make it even easier by caramelizing the onion and cooking the bacon ahead of time. Then, right before dinner, sauté the squash, cook the pasta, and slice the basil—easy!
If you have leftovers, don't worry if the goat cheese looks stiff and icky after being in the refrigerator. We've reheated this pasta in a pan with a few splashes of chicken broth, and the sauce softened right up.
Squash, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Pasta with Basil
4 to 5 slices of bacon
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1/2 pound pasta (we prefer shapes like penne or gemelli to long noodles)
2 medium yellow squashes, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 ounces goat cheese
small handful of fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
salt and pepper
Cook the bacon in a large skillet (you'll be adding all of the pasta to this skillet later) until crispy. Remove, and let drain on paper towels. Add the onion to the bacon grease, season with salt and pepper, and cook on medium-low heat until very soft and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.
While the onion is cooking, bring a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente. Add the squash to the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. If the pan gets dry, add a splash of olive oil.
Scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta water, set aside, then drain the pasta and add to the pot with the squash and onions. Crumble the goat cheese on top and stir until it is distributed throughout the pasta, drizzling in the pasta water to help make the sauce creamy.
Crumble the bacon over the top, add the basil, and season to taste.
(Image: Elizabeth Passarella)