This delicious, simple fall harvest pasta is filled with butternut squash and kale, with the perfect amount of pancetta and parmesan.
This recipe screams fall. Butternut squash and kale are in season and easy to find! It's a great fall dinner.
- Pasta (medium shells or orecchiette)
- Butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Red pepper flakes
See recipe card for quantities.
Heat a pan to medium heat. Then, add pancetta and butternut squash, cook until butternut squash cooked through.
Next, add olive oil and garlic. Add al dente pasta and chopped kale.
Add parmesan and pasta water, mixing thoroughly until pasta is coated in a parmesan sauce.
Hint: Heavily salt water before boiling pasta for best taste.
- Gluten free - use your favorite gluten free pasta
- Vegetarian - skip the pancetta (you'll need to add olive oil to the pan before roasting the butternut squash) for a vegetarian fall harvest pasta. If you want to add a protein source you can use a drained and dried can of garbanzo beans, add to pan at the same time as the butternut squash.
- Spicy - add extra red pepper flakes to taste
Store the fall harvest pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If the fat from the pancetta does not seem to be enough to cook the butternut squash through, add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet to help the butternut squash cook through.
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These are my favorite dishes to serve with this fall harvest pasta:
Fall Harvest Pasta
- 8 oz pasta orecchiette or medium shells
- 4 oz pancetta
- ½ medium butternut squash peeled and seeds removed, diced into about ½" pieces
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- 2 cups kale chopped, stems removed, I prefer dinosaur kale
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup parmesan freshly grated
- In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente per package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup pasta water and set aside.
- In a large skillet on medium heat, add the pancetta and butternut squash. Cook, stirring occasionally until butternut squash can easily be pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. (Sometimes I need to add a bit of water to the pan to help the butternut squash cook through)
- Add olive oil, red pepper flakes, pepper, garlic, and kale to skillet. Stir and cook until fragrant, around 1 minute.
- Toss the drained pasta into the skillet. Then, toss in the parmesan. Add the pasta water, a little at a time, and mix until parmesan completely coating pasta. You may not need the whole cup of reserved pasta water.
- Salt to taste, remove from heat, and serve!