Winter Squash Carbonara

Just a handful of  ingredients come together to make a lightened up version of the classic carbonara.

Winter Squash Carbonara
Winter Squash Carbonara

The older I get (I feel older just saying that) the more I realize the joy in keeping things clean and simple.   Clothes, hair, makeup, my living space, relationships and... food.  I recall much of my adolescence, and twenties spending too much time "getting ready".  Ready for a test.  Ready for work. Ready for a presentation.  Ready for a party.  My older self thinks my younger self over complicated many things that didn't need the extra fussing.  The words of the wiser who often whispered to me - less is more, you don't need that, and it's perfect just the way it is - were weightless to me, floating without the credence they likely (definitely) deserved.  I didn't trust things were probably good enough just as they were. I'm embracing more simplicity and less fussing and it's coming through in the food I cook.

Fresh Pasta
Fresh Pasta

I realize my favourite style of food mirrors what I love best about my life now.  Family style, comforting, & rich with a broad spectrum of personalities.  (definitely not perfectly plated).  This Winter Squash Carbonara with fresh pasta represents me living my best life right now.  Hand cranked fresh pasta by the Little one is one of my favourite things to do with him.  Spending time with him in the kitchen - playing and learning simultaneousy - is when I am my best as his mom.

Roasted Acorn Squash
Roasted Acorn Squash

Just a simple egg and flour pasta - nothing else.  I realize the sauce is not a traditional carbonara but because the pasta is fresh and heavy on the eggs, it works for me.   The sauce gets a rich, velvety texture from the pulverization of the oven roasted acorn squash in my overpriced blender.   I chose to leave the skins on the squash for the extra nutrients (which nutrients I have no idea, all I know is green stuff seems to be good for us) and to cancel out the nutrient-lacking bacon.  And anytime you can toss crispy bacon with crispy sage, you have a winning combination.

Winter Squash Carbonara
Winter Squash Carbonara

It's simple & seasonal.  It will comfort you whether your part of the world brings winter rain or winter snow.  Or just the need to turn the a/c off.

Winter Squash Carbonara
Winter Squash Carbonara

Winter Squash Carbonara

Author: Food Well Said

Serves: 4

Just a handful of ingredients come together to make a lightened up version of the classic carbonara.


  • For the fresh pasta:
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 grams Semolina Flour
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 acorn squash, split and seeded
  • 2 T of olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • handful of fresh sage, chopped
  • parmesan to finish
  • 3 strips of bacon (omit for vegetarian)


  1. For the fresh pasta:
  2. Place the flour on the counter or a large board. Make a well in the middle and crack in the three fresh eggs. Using a fork, gradually work in the walls of the flour well until incorporated. (carefully so the walls do not break and the egg over flows, use a large bowl if preferred)
  3. Once incorporated start kneading flour with hands for 7 - 10 minutes. (recommend setting a timer as it always feels like I have been kneading for longer than I have)
  4. Once dough is smooth and elastic, wrap in plastic and let rest 30 minutes.
  5. Once rested, roll out small sections and use a pasta cutter (or hand cut) desired noodle. If saving for later, let dry about ten minutes by hanging (over fridge handles, chair backs or pasta hanger) and then drop into a pot of salted boiling water for 3 - 4 minutes (until it bubbles to top)
  6. For the sauce:
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Slice seeded acorn squash into small sections, generously coat with olive oil, salt & pepper and arrange on baking sheet.
  9. Roast for 15 minutes or until squash is soft to a fork pierce. (error on overcooking)
  10. While squash is roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Saute about five minutes until onions are translucent. Transfer to a blender and add cooked squash.
  11. The sauce will require liquid. I used a couple ladles of salted boiling pasta water to get the consistency I liked. Feel free to use plain water or broth. Blend on high until creamy.
  12. Using the same sauce pan, add bacon (if using) and fry till crispy. Just before the bacon is done, throw in the sage and toss and cook until well fried.
  13. To the saucepan, add the drained pasta, the sauce and toss until well coated.
  14. Top with shaved parmesan.