The butternut squash provides a rich texture and a slightly sweet flavor for this sauce. Garnished with walnuts, sage, and crispy bacon, this is the perfect pasta dish to warm you up on a cool fall or winter evening.
6 ounces bacon strips, diced
2 cups minced yellow onion (about 2 medium onions)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2½ pounds butternut squash, diced
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish if desired
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 pound conchiglie rigate (a ridged shell-shaped pasta) or penne pasta
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ cup walnuts , toasted and roughly chopped
½ cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted
¼ cup chiffonade of fresh sage leaves
1. Set the pressure cooker to the “browning” setting and add the bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crisp and has rendered most of its fat, 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.
2. Add the onion, garlic, and marjoram to the pressure cooker and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the butter, and when it has melted, add the butternut squash and stir well to coat. Add the heavy cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook until the cream has reduced slightly and the sauce has a thick consistency, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Close and lock the lid, and set to “low pressure” for 3 minutes.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions.
5. Open the pressure release valve, allow the steam to escape, and carefully unlock and open the lid. Gently ladle the butternut squash sauce over the pasta in a large serving bowl and gently mix together, being careful not to break up the squash. Add half the Parmesan and toss well. Serve the pasta immediately, garnished with the reserved bacon, the remaining Parmesan, and the walnuts, panko, and sage. Sprinkle with black pepper if desired.