This is a total cheat on the Italian takeover we are having in this issue. Bacon, maple syrup, and toasted pumpkin seed oil have no place in a traditional Italian kitchen, but they do have a place in mine!


Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

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Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the bread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until deep golden brown and fragrant, about 18 minutes.

  • Cut the neck off of the butternut squash. Peel the neck and coarsely grate. (Reserve the bulbous bottom for roasting on another night.)

  • In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the grated squash; season with salt and pepper, nutmeg, and smoked paprika. Add the onion and chile paste. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and stock. Simmer over medium heat until the kale wilts, the stock is absorbed, and the squash is soft, about 5 minutes.

  • In another large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until almost crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the maple syrup. Add the vinegar. (Turn your head away from the pan—the fumes can be very strong!) Stir in the mustard. Remove from heat. Whisk the pumpkin seed oil into the dressing.

  • Toss the bread with the squash and greens. Remove from heat. Mix in the warm bacon dressing. Top with the pepitas and curls of Parm.