I LOVE a classic carbonara. I love it more than words can say. And to be honest, I always looked down upon healthy variations of traditional but overly rich pasta recipes. If I couldn’t have the real thing, I didn’t want it at all. I think it’s safe to say that I was stupid thinking that, especially when it comes to this recipe. I was sceptical while I was giving this carbonara version a try. Yeah, yeah, squash is yummy and all, but will it replace a cream sauce? It will… after taking the first bites I was completely convinced. The puréed squash gives you the impression of a rich, thick sauce and it’s really mainly veggies. The little bit of decadence every carbonara needs comes from some fried pancetta I added to this recipe. It shouldn’t be entirely healthy, right?
Butternut Squash Carbonara
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic roughly chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup pecorino finely grated
- 1 tbsp crème fraîche
- 140 g pancetta diced
- 450 g linguine
- Peel and deseed the butternut squash and cut into 1cm cubes.
- Add the squash, the onion and garlic to a large pot with a bit of olive oil and fry for 10-12 minutes over medium high heat.
- Add the chicken stock put a lid on and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the squash is soft.
- Meanwhile prepare the water for your pasta and cook it according to package.
- Add the grated pecorino to the squash and purée with a stick blender until very smooth.
- Add the creme fraîche and salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain your pasta reserving one cup of the cooking water.
- In a large pan fry the diced pancetta for 5 minutes or until it's slightly brown and crispy. Drain the fat of the pancetta, leaving about one tablespoon in the pot and add the cooked pasta.
- Add the squash purée one cup at a time until everything is generously coated and mix well. Add some of the pasta water for extra silkiness.
- Serve with some extra pecorino.