Wholesome pasta smothered in a silky butternut squash sauce with crispy sage leaves. This Carbonara Pasta is rich, creamy and oh-so-satisfying.
We eat quite a bit of butternut squash during the fall months. We love it on bruschetta, in curry recipes and soups. It’s such a versatile ingredient, I honestly can never get enough. Today we’re trying it on pasta… and we’re officially addicted.
So, what takes this dish to the next level? BROWN BUTTER. Yeeeeeaaah, baby. I love Minerva Dairy’s Garlic Butter in this recipe, as it has a luscious 85% butter fat and the perfect amount of garlic-y goodness. I’ve partnered with them a few times now… they’re butters are so delicious. Make sure to check out our other recipes!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH CARBONARA PASTA:
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH: One of my favorite fall fruits. Did you know that squash is a fruit? Basically, since squash contains seeds and grows from the flower part of a plant, it’s considered a fruit (not vegetable). So… I guess that means we’re making fruit pasta. Hearty, delicious, “I’m totally here for it”, FRUIT pasta.
- BACON: Because we can agree that everything is better with bacon. Right?
- HERBS: Sage and butternut squash should always go together. Just trust me on this one. We also finished this dish with a sprinkle of Italian parsley, which adds a touch of fresh aromatics.
- COCONUT MILK: I absolutely love the combo of butternut squash and coconut milk. They blend together so flawlessly, creating an almost exotic flavor that’s utterly addicting.
- BROWN BUTTER: Nutty, toasty brown butter adds an extra element of flavor to this party-in-your-mouth pasta dish. Honestly, we eat brown butter pasta all the time… sprinkle it with parmesan and you’re good to go.
MORE RECIPE FAVORITES:
- 1 Butternut Squash (about 2 pounds)
- 1 White Onion
- 3 Medium Carrots
- 2 Large Garlic Cloves
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp. Water
- 8 Bacon Slices
- 10 Sage Leaves
- ½ cup Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- Pinch of Nutmeg (optional, about ⅛ tsp.)
- 3 tbsp. Minerva Dairy's Garlic Butter
- 16 ounces Dry Pasta (Linguine, Spaghetti, Bucatini)
- ½ cup Freshly Grated Italian Parmigiano Reggiano + more for garnish
- 1 cup Reserved Pasta Water, use as needed
- Salt + Black Pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Cut butternut squash in half, lengthwise, and discard the seeds. Peel and then cut onion into four wedges. Peel and cut carrots into thirds. Smash garlic and roast with skin (and peel off before blending).
- Place all vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and then flip the squash over so it roasts with the cut side down. Drizzle everything with olive oil and pour the water over squash (this will help it roast faster and will evaporate during the process). The vegetables will be finished around 55 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet. Once cooked through, place on paper towels to drain and then crumble. Reserve the excess bacon fat in the skillet and turn off the heat.
- Add sage leaves to the skillet and toss them in the bacon fat for 30 seconds. Set the crisped leaves on a paper towel to drain while you make the remainder of the dish.
- The squash will be finished when you can pierce through its skin with a fork and the flesh is soft. Pull the baking sheet out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, or until the squash is cool enough to touch. While the vegetables are cooling, go ahead and cook the pasta in a large pot to al dente and drain. Make sure to reserve 1 cup of pasta water in a small bowl.
- Once cooled, either peel the skin off of the squash or scoop out the inner flesh with a spoon. Dump all the roasted veggies into the blender, then add chicken broth, coconut milk and an optional pinch of nutmeg. Pulse until fully pureed.
- In the same pot that the pasta was cooked in, melt the butter over medium-high heat until brown bits start to form. About 3 minutes. Then add drained pasta back to the pot and toss with browned butter and ½ cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Add butternut squash puree to the pasta, ½ cup at a time, tossing gently to combine (NOTE: I personally use about half the puree and save the rest for another meal). If you'd like to thin out the sauce: add reserved pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, until you've reached your desired consistency.
- Serve with a sprinkle of additional parmesan, bacon crumbles, fried sage leaves, salt and black pepper.
RECIPE NOTES FROM JESS:
- When blending hot liquids, make sure to leave enough room for the ingredients to expand. If you have a smaller blender, you may have to blend the sauce in two batches.
- Recipe Swaps: Diced pancetta also works nicely in this recipe if you’d like to use it instead of bacon. If you’d like to add an egg (like traditional carbonara), simply whisk it in a small bowl and pour into the pasta at step 9. To make this dish vegetarian, simply fry the sage leaves in a dab of butter and top with roasted pumpkin seeds instead of bacon.
- Leftover butternut squash puree can be stored in a sealed container, refrigerated, for up to 5 days. Mix with ricotta as a spread for vegetarian lasagna, use with elbow macaroni for a spin on mac & cheese, or blend with additional chicken stock and coconut milk to make a delicious bisque.
This post is sponsored by my friends at Minerva Dairy. Per the usual, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and I would never recommend a brand or product that I didn’t immensely enjoy myself.
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