Butternut Carbonara

This weeknight pasta has all the vibes of traditional carbonara, but with a veggie boost. 

butternut carbonara
Photo: Antonis Achilleos
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Servings:
4

Don't be fooled by the addition of butternut squash in this irresistible pasta. This bowl of creamy spaghetti has all the ingredients and rich flavor you expect from classic carbonara: egg yolks, pecorino, and bacon. The addition of butternut squash puree amps up the striking orange color and nutrition, plus it delivers a subtle fall flavor, thanks to honey and thyme. It's a pasta recipe with a veggie boost you'll make again and again. Swap bacon for guanciale as a nod to the classic, or top your pasta with crispy chickpeas for a vegetarian take.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 6 slices uncooked bacon, chopped into 1/2-in. pieces

  • 1 12-oz. pkg. frozen butternut squash puree, thawed

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 1 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

  • 4 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated on a microplane (about 2 1/2 cups), divided

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup water.

  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium, stirring often, until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.

  3. Microwave defrosted squash puree on high for 1 minute to warm.

  4. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl; drizzle in reserved hot bacon drippings, whisking constantly to combine. Whisk in squash puree, thyme, honey, salt, pepper, and 2 cups cheese until combined. Gradually drizzle reserved pasta water into egg mixture, whisking constantly, taking care to avoid curdling yolks. Add pasta; toss well to coat.

  5. Serve pasta topped with bacon, parsley, and remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Garnish with a few grinds of pepper.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

675 Calories
18g Fat
95g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 675
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 224mg 75%
Sodium 915mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 95g 35%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 31g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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