Butternut Squash Carbonara

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This version of classic spaghetti carbonara features butternut squash. It's creamy, full of flavor and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. 


  • 12-ounces whole grain spaghetti
  • 2-2 ½ cups cubed butternut squash (from about 1 small squash or 12-ounce bag frozen cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 strips uncured bacon, chopped
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish
  • ¼ cup unsalted vegetable or chicken stock (optional)


  1. Cook pasta in a stock pot according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain the rest. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place the butternut squash cubes and ¼ cup water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 4-5 minutes, until very tender. Drain the water. Place the cooked squash in a blender with the reserved pasta water, salt, black pepper, nutmeg and cayenne and puree until very smooth. Set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in the pot used for boiling the pasta to medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring regularly, until crispy. Add the butternut squash puree to the pot and bring to a simmer. Using tongs, stir in the cooked spaghetti and simmer until the sauce is thickened. Remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Use the tongs to stir the egg yolks into the pasta, then stir in the grated Parmesan until the spaghetti is glossy and coated with the sauce. If the mixture is thick, add the stock. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  5. Serve in bowls and top with more Parmesan, if desired.


Cooking Tip: Removing the pot from the heat before adding the egg yolks helps them from scrambling. You do not want scrambled eggs in your pasta, you want the egg yolks to coat the spaghetti and make a glossy sauce.


Keywords: easy, whole grain, quick, seasonal, comfort food, fall, creamy