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Whole-Wheat Spaghetti Carbonara with Butternut Squash
“We give classic carbonara a healthy spin using nutty whole-grain pasta and infusing a more traditional carbonara sauce with sweet butternut squash. Use pre-chopped squash to streamline the prep for this recipe—and be sure to brown the squash to deepen the entire dish's flavor. Don't forget to reserve some pasta water—it adds silkiness to the sauce.”
1Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium, stirring often, until bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels; reserve drippings in skillet. Add sage leaves and cook until crisp, about 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer leaves to paper towel with bacon.
2Add squash to skillet and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, pepper and salt and cook, stirring often, 2 more minutes. Add stock and let come to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium and cook, partially covered, until stock is reduced by half and squash is very tender, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Pour mixture into a blender; add butter. Secure lid on blender and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Return mixture to skillet.
3Cook pasta in a large pot of water according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water.
4Add parsley and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to squash mixture; stir to incorporate. (Add remaining ½ cup cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to reach desired consistency.) Add cooked pasta; toss and top with Parmesan cheese, bacon, and sage leaves. Serve immediately.