Gluten Free Penne with Smoked Bacon and Butternut Squash

Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked Bacon

Butternut squash and also refereed to butternut pumpkin in Australia and New Zealand, is a winter squash. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to pumpkin.

Butternut_squash

The value of the nutrient content increases when cooked

According to Specialty Produce the butternut squash was developed in Stow, Massachusetts in 1940 by Charles A. Leggette.

The squash is a member of the gourd family and is the most widely grown winter squash. In the United States, Florida is the largest squash-producer with California ranking second.

Butternut is rich in fiber, and low in calories. It also is a good source of minerals, including magnesium and potassium. Those who have asthma or breathing problems, this squash can help, because of its magnesium, and vitamins A and C content.

Medical studies since 1994 have reported that low magnesium intake is linked to asthma and chronic obstructive airways. Many studies also have noted that drugs used in the treatment of asthma causes loss of magnesium in the body (The Link Between An Asthma Attack and Magnesium).

Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, who authored the book, “The Magnesium Miracle,” states that magnesium has a calming effect on the muscles of the bronchial airways, as well as the whole body (Treating Asthma With Nutrition).

Let’s breath easier, and get that all over calming effect as we present our featured recipe: Gluten Free Penne with Smoked Bacon and Butternut Squash, and here is what you will need.

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces, cooked in a steamer (optional to roast)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound gluten-free penne pasta

1 large yellow onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper corns

1/2 pound smoked bacon, cooked, but not crispy, your preference in flavor, we used a apple-bourbon smoked bacon

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package instruction. Save one cup of the pasta water before draining pasta. Set aside.

sauteing onions Over medium heat in a large ceramic coated frying pain, add oil and diced onion, red pepper flakes and crushed pepper corns, and saute until onion are slightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes.

adding squash and pastaNext add past, squash, and bacon. Mix until well incorporated. Next add cheese, and slowly add the reserved pasta water. The amount you add determines if you want the dish creamy or not.

Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked BaconPlate and serve.

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Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup

Coconut-and-Butternut-Squash-SoupButternut squash is a summer and winter squash, and has an orange flesh that is sweet and  tastes a little like sweet potatoes. Like all squash, butternut squash is a warm weather crop and needs a long, hot summer.

There are several varieties of butternut squash. The first ones to harvest are the Early Butternut, Ponca and Supreme. The Ultra bears fruit with the most weight, between 6 and 10 pounds. The Zenith variety has attractive fruit and high yields.

There are several different ways to make soup with butternut squash, including the variety of spices and herbs used. Such as garlic, parsley, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, chives, including kale leaves, leeks, and jalapeno chilies.

Storing Butternut Squash

Butternut squash can store for longer periods of time than their summer squash counter parts. Why? Because their skin is hard and thick. After purchasing it, you can store it at least a month in a dry, cool place. If the squash has been cut into pieces, place into a glass or food grade ceramic bowl, place lid and refrigerate up to 5 days.

The Benefits of Butternut Squash

One cup of mashed squash contains 80 calories, 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, with the B-complex group of vitamins folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid. It also contains vitamins A and C and the minerals iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

There is a correlation between eating foods high in the carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin like butternut squash, and a reduced rick of lung cancer.

Folate can protect against birth defects, and also helps to prevent a heart attack by working against elements that break down blood vessel structures in the body. Folate intake has shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Options To Prepare Butternut Squash

There are several ways to prepare butternut squash. Our favorite ways to prepare it, and still contain the highest nutritional value are:

  1. Stir-Fry: tender when pierced
  2. Bake: 400 degrees, uncovered 30 – 40 minutes
  3. Steam: Cube and steam for 6 – 8 minutes
  4. Roast: 400 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes

We advise against boiling the squash or microwaving it. With both methods, you will lose its nutritional value.

Now for our featured recipe: Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup, and here is what you will need.

Ingredients for Coconut and Butternut Sqaush  soup

3 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

4 cups chicken broth, divided

1-15 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk

1 stalk celery, diced

1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree

½ butternut squash (about 2 ½ cups) peeled, discard seeds and sliced up

1 tsp. Fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp. salt (optional)

roasting butternut sqaush while baking biscutsBake butternut squash, 30 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

pureeing butternut squash with chicken brothIn a food processor place 1 cup chicken broth and the baked butternut squash. Puree until creamy, and set aside.

sauteing onions and garlic in olive oilPlace a medium stock pot over medium heat, and add 2 cups of chicken stock. Do not bring to a boil, just allow to heat. In a large skillet over medium heat, when pan is heated add 3 tbsp. olive oil, and add chopped onions, minced garlic,  and sauté, but do not brown or carmelize. Just allow to cook and the two sock up or retain olive oil flavor.

adding diced celery to soupPour sauted onion mix with olive oil into stock pot that contains the warmed chicken broth. Take the last cup of chicken broth, and with one hand pour into frying pan while holding it by the handle with other hand, and swirl frying pan gently, and add to stock pot. Next add coconut milk to broth and stir until incorporated. Then add the diced celery to broth and stir.

spooning in butternut sqaush to soupSpoon in pumpkin and butternut squashes, mix till well incorporated. Next add ginger and stir in. If desired, add salt. Allow to simmer on low for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Coconut-and-Butternut-Squash-SoupServed garnish with a dollop of sour cream, chives and shredded coconut.

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