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PASTA WITH SQUASH LEAK AND BACON

I have often heard of incorporating purred squash into pasta dishes, but never thought it would taste good.  I was wrong.  It is a lovely combination, and healthy too!  I used bacon in this recipe, but ham would be tasty as well.

1 1/2 cups purred squash, I used Hubbard squash

6 slices of bacon, chopped small, cooked until crispy

1 large leek, sliced in half, and then thinly sliced and rinsed well

3 minced garlic cloves

1 cup of aged Sharp Cheddar Cheese

2/3 cup Parmesan Cheese

1/4 – 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

1 1/2 cups Soy milk

Cornstarch and enough milk to make a slurry

1 pkg. Tinkyada Pasta Spirals

Begin by heating up a pan on medium heat, and browning the bacon.  Once browned, place on a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess renderings.  Pour some of the bacon renderings off, leaving enough to saute the leeks and garlic.  Turn the heat down to low/medium and saute the leeks for about 5 minutes.  Then add in the garlic, salt and pepper, continue to saute a minute or two.  Add in the purred squash, soy milk, stirring to combine.  Season to taste.  Bring to a light simmer, and add in the cornstarch slurry, stirring to thicken.  Add in the grated sharp cheese, stirring until melted.  Remove from the heat, and add in the Parmesan cheese.

Cook the Pasta as per directions.  About 5 minutes before the pasta is cooked, remove 1/2 a cup of pasta water and reserve for the sauce.  Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the squash mixture, stirring to combine.  I used about 1/4 cup of pasta water to thin the sauce a bit.

Transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish, add more Parmesan Cheese on top.  Bake at 350 degrees covered, for about 15-20 minutes.

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