Butternut Squash Carbonara

Butternut Squash Carbonara

I’ve been soaking up the cool weather and rain we’ve had in Orange County over these past few weeks. I don’t necessarily want rain every day, but the cool weather can definitely stay!

I recently had a big bag of cubed fresh butternut squash in my fridge from another recipe I made to use up and had a craving for pasta. Butternut squash actually makes for a perfect sauce for pasta. When pureed, it takes on a creamy and almost cheese sauce-like texture. I love a good carbonara so I thought why not combine the two into one delicious and comforting dish?!

Butternut Squash Carbonara

A couple of notes about the butternut squash – First, I have used both frozen cubed squash (thawed) and the pre-cubed squash you can find in most grocery stores these days in the produce section. I think I prefer the fresh squash, but either works. You don’t have to go through the trouble of buying a whole squash, breaking it down, and roasting it for this recipe. You certainly can, of course, but it’s not necessary. You won’t end up using a whole squash. I use 2 cups which ends up being a little over a cup of puree.

I know the egg sometimes turns people off with carbonara, but it does cook quickly once stirred in. If you aren’t a fan though, you can leave out the egg.

Butternut Squash Carbonara

Yield: 6 servings

Butternut Squash Carbonara

Butternut Squash Carbonara
Butternut Squash Carbonara - A fall twist on the classic Italian pasta dish!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces linguine or spaghetti
  • 4 slices diced bacon or pancetta (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped sage leaves
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash, frozen or fresh
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Line a small dish with paper towels. Add the diced bacon to a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned and crispy. Add the sage and cook in the bacon fat for about 30-45 seconds. Transfer the bacon and sage to the plate, leaving some drippings in the pan. Set the bacon and sage aside.
  2. Add the shallot into the pan with the drippings and cook over medium high heat about 4 minutes until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the diced butternut squash. Sprinkle with salt and saute for about 5-7 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Let the squash mixture simmer for about 15 minutes or until the squash is tender (liquid should reduce by about half).
  3. While the squash is cooking, prepare the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. When finished, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain.
  4. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender. Remove the lid and cover with a towel. Blend until smooth.
  5. Bring the skillet back to the stove over medium high heat. Add the cooked pasta, the pureed squash, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to coat the pasta in the sauce. Then, stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan and the lightly beaten egg, stirring quickly in with the pasta. Add more pasta water if needed to thin. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the bacon and sage. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 1/2 cups

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 478 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 74mg Sodium: 557mg Carbohydrates: 53g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 4g Protein: 20g
Butternut Squash Carbonara