We are easing our way into this new space. Claiborne House has replaced Norwyk Manor as our home and each day we grow a bit more accustomed to our inflated space.
In my experience, nothing can make a new space feel cozier than a giant bowl of pasta.
I took my favorite carbonara recipe and Fall-i-fied it. Roasted and pureed butternut squash is whisked into the traditional no-cook carbonara sauce to create an extra creamy version of a classic favorite.
It is SO good! So good that even Mr. Pedantic - an ardent squash hater - polished off his serving without hesitation.
If you are trying to coerce some vegetables into your husband or child, this is the way to go about it.
The butternut squash is not incredibly pronounced, but it perfectly accents the cheeses, coating the pasta in a velvety, autumnal sauce.
I usually make carbonara with bacon, but I used pancetta here to change things up a bit. Feel free to use whatever you have in the refrigerator.
Now, let’s get down to it. While the spaghetti and pancetta boil and fry, crack a few eggs into the biggest bowl you have and start whisking. Parmesan and pecorino join the eggs, and then it is time for seasoning. After the salt and pepper, whisk in your butternut squash.
It is true that this sauce is essentially “no-cook,” but for safety reasons, and to protect ourselves from a meal of scrambled eggs and spaghetti, we will want to bring those eggs up to temperature slowly.
Before draining your pasta, be sure to ladle out a cup of the pasta water. This water is full of starch and salt which just happens to be perfect for loosening up and flavoring our sauce AND tempering the eggs all at once.
After you have whisked about 1/2 of a cup of the hot pasta water into the egg and squash mixture, toss in the pasta and crispy pancetta and you are ready to serve.
This is one of our favorite weeknight meals and I love how quickly it all comes together! To save yourself some time, roast your squash the night before you plan on serving this and stow it away in the refrigerator.
There are still a few boxes to unpack and pictures to be hung, but home is where the pasta is.
serves 4-6 / recipe adapted from The New York Times
FOR THE CARBONARA
4 ounces pancetta
1 lb spaghetti
2 large whole eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pureed roasted butternut squash (instructions follow)
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Fill a 4-quart saucepan 3/4 of the way full of water and season liberally with kosher salt. Set over high heat and bring to a rolling boil.
In the meantime, place the pancetta in a large, nonstick frying pan and set over medium high heat. Cook, stirring every so often, until the pancetta is crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the water is boiling steadily, add the pasta, stir once or twice, and cook until al dente; roughly 10 minutes.
While the pasta cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients. Combine eggs, egg yolks, cheeses, olive oil, salt, pepper, and butternut squash in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
Once the pasta has reached al dente, ladle out 1 cup of the pasta water and reserve. Drain the spaghetti thoroughly.
Whisk 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water into the egg mixture, whisking quickly so as to warm the eggs slowly without scrambling. If the sauce appears to be too thick, whisk in a bit more of the reserved pasta water to loosen. Toss in pasta and pancetta.
Sprinkle the pasta with freshly grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
FOR THE ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
1, 2-3 lb butternut squash, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds removed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the squash, cut-side-up, out onto the baking sheet.
Drizzle the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 45-60 minutes; until the squash is fork tender.
Allow to cool until just warm, then scoop the squash out of the skins and place in the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse until very smooth.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cook’s Note: This will make far more squash puree than needed for this recipe. You can use leftovers in baked goods or serve it warm with a bit of butter and cinnamon sugar!