Butternut Squash Carbonara

Yield Serves 4
RECIPE Ingredients
  • Neutral oil, we used avocado oil
  • 5 ounces Ventrèche, diced
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped; plus 5 fresh sage leaves whole, divided use
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, about 2lbs, peeled, seeded, rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock or bone broth
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Pecorino Romano, for shaving
Recipe notes
Silky butternut squash purée, fried sage, and crisped ventrèche synergize in this easy recipe for the ultimate fall and winter comfort dish.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. In a large, high-sided saute pan over medium flame, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil. When oil is shimmering, add ventrèche and cook until browned, rendered and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Add chopped sage and toss to coat. Remove mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  2. To the same pot add shallots and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes; add garlic and cook about 1 minute more. Add butternut squash and thyme; season with salt and pepper, and turn to coat. Raise heat to medium-high and saute for about 3 minutes then stir in chicken stock, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until the squash is completely soft and the liquid has reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly, then purée in a blender until completely smooth.
  4. In the meantime, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water over high heat until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1½ cups of pasta water. In a small saucepan over medium-high flame, heat about ¼” of oil. Add whole sage leaves and fry until crisp, about 1 minute. Lay leaves on a paper towel to drain, set aside.
  5. Put the pot back over medium heat and add pasta, squash purée, and about ½ of the pasta water. Toss gently to combine. Add Parmigiano Reggiano, continue to toss and add additional pasta water (if needed), until sauce coats the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add pasta and sauce to a warm platter and top with reserved ventrèche, fried sage leaves, and shaved Pecorino.