Roasted Squash "Carbonara" Recipe

Roasted Squash \

A pasta-inspired vegetable dish. [Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This sweet roasted squash side dish is topped with all the components of a classic carbonara—egg, crispy pork, grated cheeses, and black pepper—but presented very differently from the famed Roman sauce.

Why It Works

  • Adding more olive oil to the pork after cooking introduces a fresh olive oil flavor.
  • Vinegar offsets the pork's richness, while turning its fat into a warm vinaigrette.
  • Yield:Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds (1.75kg) red-skinned and/or green-skinned kabocha squash, trimmed, seeded, and sliced 3/4 inch thick
  • 6 tablespoons (90mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces (110g) diced pancetta, guanciale, or bacon
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons (10mL) red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) each minced fresh flat-leaf parsley and chives
  • Yolks from 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely crumbled, whites reserved for another use (like snacking)
  • Grated Pecorino Romano and/or Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

Directions

  1. 1.

    Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In a large bowl, toss sliced squash with 2 tablespoons (30mL) olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in even layers on 2 rimmed baking sheets and roast until browned and tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, in a skillet, combine pork with 1 tablespoon (15mL) olive oil and thyme, if using, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until pork is crisp and fat has rendered, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and discard thyme. Stir in red wine vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons (45mL) olive oil, and parsley and chives. Keep vinaigrette warm.

  3. 3.

    Using a thin metal spatula, lift squash from baking sheets. Arrange on a serving platter. Spoon warm vinaigrette on top. Garnish with crumbled egg yolks and grated cheese and grate more fresh black pepper on top. Serve.