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ACE Your Valentine's Day

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/05/14 -- Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

You don't have to wait until Valentine's Day to cook something special for the one you love, but what a great excuse it is to roll up your sleeves and get in the kitchen!

To help celebrate the month of love, we have a new recipe of the month for February that is nice and warm in the winter's cold, and has a nice kick to it: Spaghetti with Butternut Squash, Bacon, Kale and Toasted Honey Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs.

This pasta dish is lightly dressed with lemon, garlic and chili, and really lets the slight sweetness from the butternut squash sultrily combine with the saltiness of the bacon. Adding kale gives that nice green pop of colour, and the breadcrumbs, gently toasted, give a slight nutty crunch.

All of your senses will be thriving, the love will be flowing, and your wintery night will be that much brighter with this fragrant dish.

Spaghetti with Butternut Squash, Bacon, Kale and Toasted Honey Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs

Serves 4

This pasta is lightly dressed with lemon, garlic and chili pepper letting the flavours of the roasted squash and bacon shine through. Adding the toasted whole wheat breadcrumbs at the end gives the dish a nutty crunch.

Ingredients


1 small butternut squash
4 thick slices ACE Bakery Honey Whole Wheat Oval
8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch (1.27-cm) pieces
1 1/2 cup (375 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz. (340 g) whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp. (2.5 mL) fresh or dried chili pepper
1 tsp. (5 mL) lemon zest
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp. (5 mL) Maldon salt
1/2 tsp. (2.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) reserved pasta water
4 cups (1 L) baby kale

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C).

Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1/2-inch (1.27-cm) cubes. Place cubes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring once or twice to cook evenly.

Cut the bread into large cubes and whirl in a food processor until chunky crumbs form.

Cook the bacon in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until crispy and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) of the bacon fat in the skillet.

Add the breadcrumbs to the bacon fat in the skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lightly golden and crispy, about 5 or 6 minutes. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) of the Parmesan cheese and cook stirring until melted and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes more. Reserve breadcrumbs in a bowl.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Cook the pasta for 7 or 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander and steam dry.

Place the skillet with bacon fat over medium heat, add the olive oil and the garlic and cook until fragrant and just gently golden, about 1 minute. Add chili pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, cooked pasta, salt, pepper and water stirring to coat well. Add the butternut squash, bacon and baby kale and toss until just wilted.

Serve the pasta in large bowls topped with generous spoonfuls of the toasted Parmesan breadcrumbs and the remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese.

This recipe is from ACE Bakery.

About ACE Bakery

One of North America's leading artisan bakeries, ACE Bakery opened in 1993 creating handmade, European-style rustic breads. The gentle shaping of each loaf, long fermentation periods, and a stone deck oven all work to create exceptionally flavourful bread with a pleasing texture and crisp crust. The breads contain no preservatives and are made with the finest ingredients. ACE Bakery's baguettes and artisan breads are available at hundreds of restaurants, hotels, caterers, grocery and gourmet food shops across Canada, throughout the United States, and the Caribbean.

Community involvement is an essential part of ACE's philosophy. The company donates a percentage of its net profits to charitable organizations in the principle centres where ACE breads are sold. ACE's focus is on food and nutrition programs that assist low-income members of the community, financing culinary scholarships and supporting organic farming initiatives.

ACE Bakery is recognized as one of the 26 top Canadian brands of all time in Ikonica: A Field Guide to Canada's Brandscape (2008).

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20140204-925784_photo_800.jpg

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