Not much says fall like the smell of sage wafting out of your kitchen. Then mix it with butternut squash and pancetta, then make carbonara, and it’s like a match made in heaven.
I remember as a kid going to the local Italian restaurant and ordering the Spaghetti Carbonara every. single. time. Of course I had no idea back then how it was actually made. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical when I found out you just mix raw egg into your finished pasta. In fact I even avoided it when I was pregnant, just to be safe.
I’ve come to accept, however, that if I want a truly, true, delicious carbonara… this is how it’s done. You can make a decent substitute using a bechemel or alfredo sauce instead of the egg. But I’m telling you, this is legit, and ridiculously delicious.
- 8 oz Diced Pancetta (you could use bacon or prosciutto as well)
- 10 oz Cubed Butternut Squash (I like to buy the pre-cut)
- 1 Diced Shallot (or 1/2 white onion)
- 3-6 Cloves of Garlic (depending on how much garlic you like)
- 5-8 Chopped Fresh Sage Leaves
- 1/4 Cup Whole Milk or Cream
- 3 Room Temperature Eggs
- Fistful of Spaghetti
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Start by getting your pasta water boiling
- Cook the pasta per package directions, but be sure to reserve about a cup of the liquid before draining
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Spread the cubes of butternut squash out on a cookie sheet (I love using parchment paper for this) and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook for about 10 minutes, or until a fork goes in easily with the slightest bit of give
- While the squash is cooking and the pasta is boiling, saute the pancetta over medium heat
- Add the diced shallot/onion, garlic, and sage, and continue cooking until they are soft
- When the squash is done, I like to give it a rough chop to make the pieces a bit smaller (if you do this before cooking they have a tendency to get overcooked)
- Add the squash to the pancetta, shallot, sage pan
- Now put the 3 eggs in a bowl, and whisk 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, and all milk in
- After you've drained the pasta, return it to the same pot. Slowly add in the egg mixture, stirring constantly so that the egg coats the pasta making it creamy, instead of turning into scrambled egg.
- Now add the pancetta, sage, squash mixture
- Pour in the reserved pasta liquid as needed if the pasta starts to glop up a bit.
- After it's all stirred together, plate up family style and top with shaved parm and freshly ground pepper.
Final note, it may sound like there are a lot of steps to this. But I promise it’s extremely easy to execute. Be sure to let me know if you try it!