- 2 main-course servings
- 1 21/2-pound butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half, seeds scooped out
- 1 slice applewood smoked bacon (Neuske)
- 5 rapini stalks (or more), plus 11/2 tablespoons finely chopped rapini leaves
- 7-ounce package Miracle Noodle Ziti
- 1/3 cup Miracle Noodle Ziti (1 ounce)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (Spice Islands brand)
- 1 15- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (Hunt’s), drained, juices reserved Pinch of ground allspice
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with foil; coat with nonstick spray. Place 1 squash half, cut side down, on foil. Pierce the skin all over (reserve remaining half for another use). Roast squash 1 hour 15 minutes, or until very tender. Turn squash over and cool.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Cool; chop bacon finely. Combine bacon and 11/2 tablespoons chopped rapini leaves for gremolata. Pull leaves from 5 (or more) rapini stalks and reserve. Cut enough stalks with florets on diagonal into ½-inch-long pieces to measure 2 cups.
- Cook Miracle Noodle ziti according to package directions. In another large saucepan, cook rapini stalks in boiling, salted water 11/2 minutes. Mix in reserved leaves; boil 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rapini to a sieve and drain well. Add ziti pasta to same water. Cook 11 minutes, or until tender but still firm to bite. Drain well.
- Melt butter in the same large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Stir 30 seconds. Add rapini and generous sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss 30 seconds longer. Set aside.
- Wipe bacon drippings from skillet. Pack a 1 cup measure with roasted squash (about 8 ounces). Add to skillet. Mash in ½ cup tomato juices (mixture may not be smooth). Mix in 2 tablespoons drained tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and allspice. Mix Miracle noodle ziti and ziti pasta into sauce. Toss over medium-low heat until warmed through. Mix in rapini. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Divide pasta between 2 bowls. Sprinkle with gremolata.
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