Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara with Pancetta and lots of parmesan cheese, a little twist on the classic Italian dish. It's comforting and delicious, just perfect this Fall.
If you like the traditional carbonara recipe, you will definitely love this butternut squash version. Carbonara is one of my favourite Italian recipes, and I enjoy it either with bacon: Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta Recipe, or with salmon: 15-Minute Salmon Pasta Carbonara.
Both versions are ready in about 15 minutes, and while the butternut squash one takes longer, it's so worth the extra wait.
The only reason it takes longer to cook is because I prefer roasting the butternut squash as opposed to boiling it.
Roasting it brings out its natural sweetness, and the slight caramelisation at the edges takes it to the very next level. You can so tell the difference in taste, so I highly recommend roasting it.
Once the squash is ready - and by all means, feel free to use any other squash of you choice, pumpkin included-, all we have to do is follow bacon carbonara recipe and add the pureed butternut squash. So much flavour, it's almost too good to be true. Parmesan and pancetta are part of the deal, so do use them for the full Italian experience.
- small butternut squash
- grated parmesan
- pancetta - or bacon lardons
- salt & black pepper
- chopped parsley
- olive oil - or vegetable oil
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- cut the butternut squash in half horizontally, scoop put the seeds, drizzle with olive oil, and add some salt to it
- roast for about 45 minutes or until the flesh is tender
- scoop out the cooked flesh, and blend it to a smooth consistency
- boil the spaghetti according to the packet instructions, drain the water, reserving only 2-3 tablespoons of the starchy water in which the pasta has cooked
- beat the egg, add half of the amount of grated parmesan, then quickly add it to the drained pasta, mixing well to combine
- add the pureed squash and water, and season with salt to taste
- top with more parmesan, and cooked pancetta, and garnish with fresh parsley
It might look complicated, but it's so easy to make it. The only thing to keep in mind when adding the raw egg to the pasta is to have the pasta off the heat, and mix it quickly, to avoid the egg scrambling. Other than that, all it's easy peasie.
Can I make the butternut squash pasta carbonara without raw egg?
The raw egg is what makes the pasta carbonara unique, so the traditional recipe can't be made without. If you worry about the raw egg not being cooked, need not worry. The egg does get cooked since the pasta is still hot.
Still, if you add butternut squash, you could, if you want, leave the egg out, and just use the squash, parmesan and cooked pancetta or bacon lardons. The egg makes the pasta richer though, so I prefer using it. Plus, it takes this dish as close to the traditional version as it can get. Just extra tasty.
Other butternut squash recipes
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Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara
- 1 small butternut squash
- ¼ packet spaghetti
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoon grated parmesan
- 1 cup cubed pancetta
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Cut the butternut squash in half horizontally.
- Scoop out the seeds, drizzle the olive oil over, and season with a bit of salt.
- Roast in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahreneheit) for about 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft. While the squash is roasting, add the pancetta to a pan and cook it until brown.
- When the squash is ready, scoop out the flesh, add it to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti and cook according to the packet instructions.
- Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of water, and drain the rest. Take the spaghetti off the heat.
- Beat the egg, add half of the parmesan to it, and add everything to the drained spaghetti and mix very well to combine.
- Add the pureed butternut squash and reserved water, and mix again, then season to taste.
- Top with the cooked pancetta, the remaining parmesan and parsley.