Spaghetti Carbonara + Roasted Acorn Squash

Rich, creamy carbonara with tender roasted squash. A comforting, weeknight dinner that’s as easy as it is beautiful.

If you ask me, roasted squash is one of fall’s greatest culinary treasures. Tender, earthy, slightly sweet… Add cheese AND carbs into the mix and you’ve got a winner. It is like a big, squashy hug!

This recipe is a giant bowl of comfort, especially for chillier weather. What’s better than a big bowl of rich, creamy pasta that requires just a handful of ingredients after a long day?

Carbonara is way simple to make, but it is pretty impressive. Add in some beautiful acorn squash slices and you have elevated this beautiful dish big time!

Acorn squash is similar in flavor to butternut squash, but way easier to cook from scratch. Butternut squash can be a tad unwieldy, but acorn squashes tend to be smaller and easier to cut into. It’s also got fiber, vitamin C and B vitamins, according to Healthline. Yay!

For this dish, you’ll just need to throw some squash slices on a pan, whip up your carbonara and voila. Great for busy weeknights!

Ingredients

  • acorn squash
  • bacon
  • egg yolks
  • parmesan
  • spaghetti 
  • garlic 
  • leftover water from cooking pasta
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Substitutions

Want to up the nutritional value? Consider adding in other veggies/greens such as peas, spinach, arugula, asparagus, carrot or zucchini.

Acorn squash can be substituted for other types of squash, though you may need to adjust cooking time.

While bacon is easier to find in the grocery store, pancetta would be phenomenal here. If you want to keep it light, you can also go with turkey bacon, though you would probably have to add some extra olive oil to the pan since turkey bacon isn’t as fatty.

Pecorino romano makes a delicious substitute for parmesan — it’s actually my preference, though I know more folks tend to keep parmesan in their fridges. Give it a go!

Like spice? Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes.

Tips

When cooking the bacon, try not to let it get too hot and crispy. I mean, totally go for it, if that’s your thing, but my preference is to ensure the meat stays a bit softer and chewier in a carbonara. You also want to make sure the bacon  sweats out lots of fat since we won’t be using any additional oil in the pasta.

I love to thinly slice the acorn squash. It cooks faster and is generally a better fit for the texture of the dish, but you might also cube the squash, if that’s easier for you.

Before combining the egg and pasta water, try to let the water cool off a bit to avoid overheating the egg yolks before you get a chance to combine with the pasta itself.

But really, this dish is pretty hard to screw up. Beginner friendly, guaranteed to impress your friends!

Spaghetti Carbonara + Roasted Acorn Squash

Rich, creamy carbonara with tender roasted squash. A comforting, weeknight dinner that’s as easy as it is beautiful.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 3 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 acorn squash thinly sliced
  • 3 pieces of bacon cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup parmesan grated
  • 8 oz. spaghetti (half of a one-pound box)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • Olive oil to grease a pan
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 °F.
  • Halve squash and remove seeds with spoon. Cut halves in half, lengthwise, then thinly slice.
  • Place squash slices on a pan greased with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until tender.
  • Bring a salted pot of water to boil under medium-high heat.
  • While water is starting to boil, cut 3 pieces of bacon into bits and add to a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Boil spaghetti until almost al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove pasta from heat and set aside.
  • When bacon edges start to crisp up, add three cloves of minced garlic. Cook for another five minutes.
  • Whisk two egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in 2/3 cup of pasta water.
  • Reduce pan to medium heat and add pasta, then toss pasta in egg/water mixture.
  • Add in 1/2 cup of parmesan. Toss until cheese is melted and more pasta water has evaporated.
  • Toss in acorn squash slices.
  • Serve while hot and enjoy!

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