By now, you guys should have figured out that I love butternut squash and pasta together. I could practically rename my blog "The Butternut Squash Blog". So when I saw someone grate butternut squash so that it dissolves into their velvety carbonara sauce, you know I was all over that. Especially because I had a nasty cold and wanted comfort and didn't care that the pasta wasn't whole wheat.
The original recipe used buccatini, which I love, but I couldn't find any at the store. I did see these gorgeous long fusilli noodles though. I have to say, after having cooked with them twice, I wouldn't actually recommend these. It takes longer to cook than advertised and the inside is still crunchy (not al dente - crunchy), while the outside has gotten soft so that it breaks apart and doesn't stay long and beautiful. Sigh.
Anyway, grate up that squash (just a little chunk, not even a whole one) and toss it into a pan with a little rendered bacon fat, butter, and garlic.
I also added in some pasta water towards the end to make sure the squash got really soft and to help it become saucey.
This is the fun part - pour a mixture of whisked eggs and Parmesan slowly over the (very hot) pasta and whisk, whisk, whisk to avoid scrambled eggs and achieve a silky sauce. Then add in the butternut mixture and some crumbled bacon.
Yummy, yum, yummerton. Grind that fresh black over the top and tear into this bad boy. Don't share any with your husband because he doesn't like butternut squash, so he is lame.
Butternut Squash Carbonara
adapted from Girli Chef
4 oz bacon, chopped
1 cup peeled & grated Butternut squash
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound pasta of choice (long noodles are best)
freshly cracked black pepper
Add bacon to a pan and place over med-hi heat. Cook until crisp, then remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Pour off most of the bacon grease, but not all, and add butter to the pan. Return to medium heat; add the grated squash and garlic; and cook until soft, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Beat the eggs in a large measuring cup with a spout; stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese; set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil (this can be started before you start everything else, but you do NOT want the pasta to be cooked until you have the other things ready). Add the pasta, and cook until al dente (according to package instructions, if it doesn't specify al dente - cook 1 minute less). Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.
Immediately place the hot pasta back into the pan and pour the egg/cheese mixture over the top. Constantly toss pasta in the mixture using tongs, until it has coated everything and turned into a creamy sauce. Pour the reserved pasta water into the pan with the squash, then add to the pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the cooked bacon.
Serve piled high on a plate with black pepper cracked over the top, enjoy immediately.