It's the time for all things pumpkin and squash and I'm hitting it hard this year. So here I go with yet another deliciously homemade dinner that warms my heart, mind, body, and soul this season. It's a Squash Carbonara pasta with Fried Pancetta and Sage courtesy of Bon Appetit.
Now, this is not your traditional Carbonara pasta - there's no egg yolk (so thankfully for me right now, it is pregnancy friendly). And listen, I'm right there with you that you can't beat the addition of an egg, especially with a runny yolk, but don't be sad, be surprised! With this recipe's butternut squash puree, there's a sauce that truly does compare. It's a creamy, smooth, and very satisfying seasonal substitution!
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 ounces of pancetta, chopped
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Sage, chopped
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 cups Chicken Stock
12 ounces of Fresh Fettuccine Pasta
1/4 cup shaved Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
Salt and Pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over the stove top on medium heat. Add the chopped pancetta and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped sage and continue to slightly crisp the pancetta and sage, about another 5 minutes. Place the pancetta and sage mixture on a side dish, lined with paper fowl (to drain excess fat), but leave the remaining oil and drippings in the skillet.
Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the butter and once melted, add the butternut squash and cook for another 5 minutes, ensuring the onion has become translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and simmer until the squash is cooked and the stock is reduced by half, about 20 minutes (see below, this is a good time to start the pasta). Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and puree in the blender until smooth.
Boil salted water over the stove top to cook the pasta. Using fresh pasta, once the water is boiling, it should only take about 5 minutes for the pasta to cook.
Place the squash puree back into the large skillet and add the pasta, using a pasta spoon or tongs to scoop it out, reserving the cooking liquid. Carefully toss the pasta to coat with the sauce. Mix in the 1/4 cup of shaved Pecorino and carefully stir to combine. Add the cooking liquid from the pasta as needed, 1/4 cup at a time, to thin the sauce and combine the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate the pasta into a bowl and sprinkle with the Pancetta and Sage. Top with some shavings of the Pecorino.