When comfort food gets a healthy-ish twist, everyone wins! Ultimate Winter Harvest Pasta will help your pasta craving lean towards a little less guilt. When you combine al dente cavatappi pasta, tender butternut squash, fresh kale, crispy bacon, and (the surprise guest) pepitas in a deliciously seasoned white wine sauce, this dish is sure to be a people-pleaser. Cozy up to this Ultimate Winter Harvest Pasta for a bowl full of amazing flavors. It’s so good!


  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups lacinato kale, torn into 1-inch-wide pieces and lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons pepitas
  • 12 ounces cavatappi or orecchiette pasta
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • fresh parsley, to taste, chopped, for garnish
  • parmesan or Romano cheese, to taste, shredded, for garnish


Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 2 –Line an 18×26-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 3 –In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook until it is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.

Step 4 –Place the cooked bacon on a paper-towel-lined plate and let it drain and cool. Discard the bacon grease.

Step 5 –Chop the cooled bacon into bite-size pieces. Set it aside.

Step 6 –In a large bowl, add the butternut squash and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and toss to combine. Evenly spread the cubes out on the prepared baking sheet.

Step 7 –Roast the butternut squash, stirring every 10 minutes, about 15-20 minutes.

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Step 8 –In a clean, large bowl, add the kale, the pepitas, and 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and toss to combine.

Step 9 –Carefully transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and stir the butternut squash.

Step 10 –Sprinkle the kale mixture over the butternut squash and roast until the kale is slightly crispy and the butternut squash is nicely browned, about 10 minutes.

Step 11 –While the squash mixture is baking, in a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the cavatappi to al dente, according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and transfer to a clean large bowl.

Step 12 –In the same large skillet used for the bacon, over medium heat, heat the remaining olive oil.

Step 13 –Add the garlic to the heated olive oil and cook until it is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 14 –Add the salt, the black pepper, the red pepper flakes, and the white wine to the garlic mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2-3 minutes.

Step 15 –Add the butter to the garlic mixture and heat, stirring occasionally, until it has melted.

Step 16 –In a clean large bowl, add the cooked pasta, the butternut squash mixture, the chopped bacon, and the sauce and lightly toss to combine.

Step 17 –Serve the pasta mixture garnished with the parsley and the parmesan cheese.