Orecchiette are adept at catching the small bits of sweet potato and bacon in this dish, but any shell pasta will work.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Reserve drippings.

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  • Toss sweet potato, onion, and cauliflower with reserved drippings. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until tender and caramelized, about 35 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot with cooking water, and toss with grated cheese and vegetables. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle bacon over top. Garnish with shaved cheese.

Cook's Notes

For a vegetarian dinner, the meat can be omitted. Just roast the vegetables in olive oil.

Reviews (4)

32 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 22
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 8
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
09/27/2018
Incredibly delicious -- I'd pay money to order this sweet and savory pasta dish from a restaurant! Coating the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and onions with bacon drippings before roasting was genius. It took them to a whole new level. I happened to have four strips of cooked bacon in the fridge, and I always keep a little jar of bacon drippings as well. Since I didn't have to cook any bacon, I melted about 2 Tbsp. of my refrigerated drippings to coat the vegetables and skipped the olive oil altogether. I loved the sauce that came together when the roasted veggies were combined with Parmesan and a healthy sprinkle of parsley and crumbled bacon. The pasta water contributes toward the creaminess of the sauce, so make sure to use the full cup of pasta water when stirring everything into the cooked orecchiette. At first, it looked awfully soupy, but within a minute or so, the water was all absorbed. The pasta dish is filling and satisfying, perfect for four adults. I made it for my husband and myself, and we ended up with enough leftover for another meal.
Rating: 5 stars
02/08/2012
This is really good!! I roasted the veggies in EVOO and only used a little bit of the bacon drippings for flavor. Came out delicious!!
Rating: 5 stars
09/29/2011
This is delicious. Very easy to make and REALLY YUM. A great thing to bring to a pot luck for the fall with these flavors. It's really unique and at the same time can be a family favorite.
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Rating: Unrated
09/17/2011
Absolutely wonderful!!! Easy to prepare and awesome flavor! Definately will make this again!