March 18, 2014

Butternut squash spaghetti carbonara

I didn't grow up eating carbonara, so I had never tried it until I made a penne and asparagus version last year. This recipe is based on that one, just with different pasta and a different vegetable. This carbonara was a wonderful use of butternut squash. The sweetness of butternut squash pairs really perfectly with the salty bacon and creamy egg and cheese sauce. To top it all off, we had just brought home pastured eggs from a local farm that day and we had some delicious local pastured bacon. This really takes this dish of simple ingredients over the top. We have been slowly eating our way through our stash of winter squash and we are almost to the end. There are only about three left from our two crates we had put in the basement last fall. We have enjoyed them a lot, but now I'm beginning to look forward to spring vegetables!

Butternut squash spaghetti carbonara
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
about 3-4 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
1/2 to 3/4 lb. bacon, diced
1 lb. spaghetti 
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 handfuls freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 large egg yolks (the freshest and highest quality you can find)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the butternut squash with about a tablespoon of olive oil, a few pinches of salt, and a couple grinds of black pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until just fork tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside and turn off the oven.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Turn off the heat and wipe most of the bacon grease from the pan. Return the bacon to the pan along with the butternut squash. Turn the heat on very low to keep warm. 

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving about 2 cups of pasta water. Place the pasta in the pan with bacon and squash and toss. Lightly whisk together the cream, 1 handful of Parmesan, and egg yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Stir in a pinch of salt. 

Now you must move quickly and carefully to make sure you have a smooth sauce (not scrambled). Remove the pan from the heat and set on the counter. Stir in one cup of the reserved pasta water. Then stir in the sauce quickly. Toss the pasta until coated and stir in the remaining handful of Parmesan. You want your sauce to be smooth and glossy. If it it too thick, stir in more pasta water.

Serve immediately with extra Parmesan and pepper.

What was I cooking one year ago?: Irish soda bread with whiskey raisins and caraway
Two years ago?: Irish oaten rolls
Three?: orange-sour cream-poppy seed loaf cake
4?: Chicken gyros


  1. I love carbonara but don't eat it often. Well, you know why. Does the addition of squash make it healthier? Whatever. Genius!

  2. Such a nice twist to the classic the squash in it...adds color and texture...yum!
    Have a great week Amy :D

  3. I was thinking about butternut and pasta last night, what great timing! Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

  4. This is pure comfort food! I love how easy and delicious it is.

  5. I love butternut squash in pasta!!!

  6. Carbonara is so flavorful! I love it. Never thought to add squash to the dish -- brilliant idea! Terrific looking recipe -- thanks.

  7. I never had carbonara growing up and only ever made it for myself as an adult! I love your veggie-full versions!

  8. Now I'm wondering why I never did a carbonara with butternut squash before...looks delicious!

  9. I've yet to to try carbonara, but it sounds SO good, and your version with butternut squash looks to die for!

  10. Truly this looks simply delicious. I wished I had more imaginative adjectives. I put a double star by it, which is a great rating in my recipe list.

  11. This carbonara looks delicious! I love the combintion of butternut squash and bacon. Yum!


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