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This has all of my favorite things in it: bacon, butternut squash, vidalia onions and spinach. It is so delicious, especially when made with fresh rosemary from the garden!
In a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven with lid, over medium heat, saute bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Leave drippings in the pan and add butter. Heat until butter is melted; add onions and cook, stirring often until brown and caramelized. (I usually add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to the onions to help the caramelizing process.)
Add squash and stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Pour in chicken stock and sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Cover and cook until liquid is reduced, about 2 to 4 minutes. Be careful to NOT overcook the squash.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add penne and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook until al dente, or just tender. While the pasta is cooking, add the spinach by large handfuls to the onion and squash mixture. Stir, and when wilted, add another handful. Continue until all spinach is added. Don’t overcook!
Toss in 2/3 of the bacon. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl. Add the vegetables along with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Toss to mix. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with remaining bacon and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Serve hot.
Note: This makes a HUGE amount. We typically will freeze half in a casserole dish. When you want to serve the second pan, remove from the freezer and thaw in the fridge. Drizzle with chicken broth, cover and bake in the oven to reheat.