Preheat oven to 425F.
Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Liberally season with salt.
Place the cubed butternut squash on a medium sheet tray and liberally drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, remove and toss then roast for another 10-15 minutes or until softened and golden brown.
To a 10-inch nonstick skillet add the diced bacon and bring up to heat over medium. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until crispy and golden. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon to a paper towel lined bowl. Next add the sage leaves to the rendered bacon fat and fry until crispy, about 1 minute. Remove to a small paper towel lined plate. Reserve 1 tbsp. of bacon fat.
Cook the pasta per package directions until al dente.
While the pasta cooks make the sauce. Bring a large 12-inch nonstick skillet up to heat on medium low. Add in the 2 tbsp. of bacon fat and garlic, sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Next melt in the goat cheese, about 1 minute, then whisk in the heavy cream, parmesan, dijon, nutmeg, cayenne and a good sprinkling of pepper. Keep warm on low.
Once the pasta is ready add it directly to the skillet along with 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Toss to coat then add in the roasted butternut squash, crispy bacon and crumble in half of the fried sage, leaving the remaining for garnish. Toss and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. If it looks too thick add another 1/4 cup of pasta liquid.
To serve scoop into a shallow bowl and top with the remaining sage leaves, this time leaving them whole, a sprinkle of black pepper and parmesan cheese.
Recipe Courtesy of Megan Mitchell
As seen on Food Network Kitchen