Usually I am not excited about Mondays. But in this case, Monday is almost over and I have pasta. Creamy, luscious, melt-in-your-mouth pasta that I just want to swim around in for the rest of eternity.
You guys like carbonara, right? Perfectly al dente spaghetti, crisp, smoky bacon, rich egg yolks, tangy, fresh Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper? Yes? Carbonara is legit as-is, and it really doesn’t need to be messed with, but I couldn’t help myself. I simply just cannot leave things alone, can I?
But you guys, I promise you won’t be upset. You might not even realize I messed with spaghetti carbonara by adding in an entire pureed butternut squash. I know – It seems criminal, but it’s really not. The butternut squash makes a luxurious sauce that’s simply delightful, and only enhances what we know of spaghetti carbonara.
Also – full disclosure – I just fed my husband a bowl of this stuff, and he had absolutely no clue there was squash in it (he claims to hate squash). He loved it! It’s trickery, I know, but it works every time (remember the mac & cheese?).
Plus, it’s so so so simple to throw together, which is great for a Monday, or any weeknight, really. It also reheats nicely, so it’s perfect to have for lunch the next day, and everyone at work will have lunch-envy.
If they’re nice, you’ll share, right?
Have a fabulously delicious week, folks.
- 12 oz. whole grain spaghetti
- 2 ½ cups cubed butternut squash (from about 1 medium squash)
- 3 strips bacon, chopped
- ¾ tsp. coarse salt + more to taste
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup unsalted chicken stock (optional)
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- ¼ cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Cook pasta in a stock pot according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain the rest.
- Meanwhile, place butternut squash cubes and ¼ cup water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 4-5 minutes, until very tender. Place cooked squash in a blender with reserved pasta water and puree until very smooth.
- Heat stock pot to medium heat. Add bacon pieces and cook, stirring regularly, until crispy. Remove bacon with a spoon and place on a paper towel. Drain most of the bacon fat. Pour pureed squash into the stock pot. Stir in cooked spaghetti. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Remove pot from the heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and ½ cup grated Parmesan. Stir egg yolk/Parmesan mixture into the carbonara. Stir in most of the bacon crumbles. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Stir in chicken stock if mixture is too thick.
- Serve in bowls and top with remaining Parmesan, bacon crumbles and chopped parsley.