Creamy Butternut, Bacon and Leek Pappardelle.
Somebody give me a gigantic fork.
Because this is my serving. Right here.
Just when I think I can’t get any more common… oh wait – I can! Show me all the fall scenery forever.
I get it. It’s not even complicated. It’s not some super unique creation or full of a million ingredients.
But the flavors together are UNREAL. The flavor in the dish is frighteningly addicting and wonderful.
I’m also loving pappardelle at the moment. If you’ve followed along you know I’ve never been a pasta lover (more room for cheesecake please) but now I’m dying to make my own pappardelle at home. Except… I’m lazy at the thought of it. Like I want to DO it, but I don’t want to REALLY do it, if you get what I’m saying. Plus, with zero Italian genes and my severe lack of patience, I just figure it will be a disaster before it begins.
I probably should do this before I go into labor? Hey! Maybe the pure act of making pappardelle will send me into labor. In that case, I’ll wait a few weeks? Famous last procrastinator words.
Until then, I’ll be devouring these egg pappardelle pasta nests (how ridiculously cute?!) when the craving hits. My all-time favorite comfort food when I was growing up was a pulled pot roast that my mom served with egg noodles, mashed potatoes and a huge smothering of gravy.
That dish is up next with these. OH yes it is.
While this skillet is made with cream or half & half, it really gives a nice coating to the pappardelle and isn’t overly rich. In fact, I find it to be the perfect balance of cheese and creaminess – where a proper portion makes you feel jusssst right. We aren’t swimming in sauce here. The pasta soaks up a bit of that creamy goodness and it’s like the entire skillet is coated in a light blanket of cheesy love.
AND! You can also totally incorporate brussels sprouts into the pasta – replace the leeks or go halvsies – because it’s the only way to make this better.
Creamy Butternut, Bacon and Leek Pappardelle
6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
4 cleaned and trimmed leeks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed butternut squash
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup half and half (or heavy cream!)
1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
8 ounces pappardelle pasta, cooked
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is almost crispy, then add the leeks and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and butternut cubes along with the pepper and nutmeg. (At this point I usually begin to cook the pappardelle.) Toss the squash well to coat it in the bacon fat, then cover the skillet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes - until the squash is JUST tender enough to eat. You don't want it breaking down.
With the heat on low, stir in the half and half and the cheese. Cook and stir until the cream is just warmed, then stir in the cooked pasta. Toss the ingredients in the skillet well. Taste and season additionally with salt if desired - I usually find that the bacon is salty enough for the entire dish. Serve immediately!
[inspired by a dish I saw in bon appetit forever ago]
it’s an autumn cuddle.