Because seriously? I am totally ruling the kitchen today. Here's what I did:
Put on a pot of water and cook around 3/4 pound pasta while you make the sauce. I like penne or mini penne.
Saute 5 pieces of bacon in a large saute pan (non-stick, stainless; doesn't matter)
Remove bacon when crisp and set aside. Nibble a little, but save most of it to add in at the end.
Saute 1 or 2 minced shallots & 1 medium butternut squash, cubed into 1" pieces or smaller, in the bacon fat. You'll probably need to do this in two batches so that you don't crowd the pan. Once just golden brown on one or two sides, remove from pan and add in the second batch. Cook 'til golden brown, then add the first batch back to the pan.
Add 2 T. flour to the pan and stir well to coat.
Add 2 cups chicken stock to pan and swirl to combine with squash/flour mixture. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to medium. Throw in a few handfuls of washed baby spinach. If you like (and I do), add a splash (maybe 1/4 cup) of heavy cream because yes, I do keep that in my fridge, so there. You can skip it though. That's ok.
Grate in a metric ton of good Parmesan cheese (or whatever suits you) and stir, stir, stir.
Salt & pepper to taste, and don't be shy.
Toss pasta with sauce in pan. Add in crumbled bacon and stir well. If it gets a little thick, just splash in some water or a little more chicken stock to thin it out.
Serves 6 hungry people or 8 or 10 as a first course.
Fall food. It's my very favorite. :)