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Winter squash carbonara

Serves   4
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

Winter squash is similar in appearance to buttercup squash and you can use either here. Winter squash is light and sweet with a moist, soft texture.





  • Pangrattato:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, coarse, made from slightly stale bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon zest, grated from whole lemon
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • Winter squash:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 pinches salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 400 g dried linguine, or fettuccine
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


  1. Make the pangrattato, heat the oil over medium-low heat in a small frying pan. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant, but not coloured. Remove from the heat, cool a little then stir in the lemon zest and herbs. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. Make the winter squash, heat the oil in a shallow saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the squash, onion and garlic and stir well to coat in the oil. Season with a little salt and some freshly ground white pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the stock, bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the winter squash is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Place in a food processor and process until smooth. Check seasoning.
  4. Meanwhile, cook linguine or fettuccine in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until al dente and according to the instructions on the packet. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. 
  5. Combine the pasta, winter squash puree and enough cooking liquid to moisten. 
  6. Stir through the Parmesan and serve in warmed pasta bowls. Top each bowl with the pangrattato.

Other serving ideas: 
Serve carbonara topped with shaved Parmesan or Pecorino.
Grill or pan-fry thinly sliced pancetta until crisp and add to carbonara.