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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
2 rimmed baking sheets, thin metal spatula