When I picture fettuccine carbonara, I usually think of bacon, heavy cream sauce, and shallots. So when I came across this recipe, I did a double take. It was featured in the October issue of O Magazine, and was one of three recipes that combined kale, butternut squash, and egg. The fontina squash frittata and raw kale salad looked great, but what caught my eye was the fettuccine carbonara with squash and kale. I had never seen the ingredients combined in one dish, and I thought the flavors would go well together.
Luckily, I was not proven wrong. I roasted the butternut squash with sprigs of thyme, sauteed kale with red pepper flakes and salt, and combined the two ingredients with pasta, fresh Parmesan, and eggs. The dish isn’t too heavy or too light, and the leftovers taste just as good a day (or a few hours) later.
My only words of caution would be, give yourself enough time. The recipe said it was “easy enough for a Wednesday night,” which it is…If you already have roasted butternut squash on hand. It takes a while to roast the squash, but you can prep the other ingredients while you’re waiting.
This is quickly becoming my go-to weeknight pasta dish…I might try an acorn squash and spinach combination next time.
Fettuccine Carbonara with Squash and Kale (slightly adapted from October 2013 O Magazine issue)
Sprigs of thyme
1 cup butternut squash, roasted and cubed
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups kale, sliced
1/2 lb fettuccine (whole-wheat or regular)
1/2 cup pasta water
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half and rub with 1-2 tbsp olive oil, and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Add squash to baking sheet lying face down, and roast for approximately 20-30 minutes. Let cool before cubing.
In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute.
Add 2 1/2 cups sliced kale, season with salt, and cook until wilted, 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup cubed roasted squash, cover, and remove skillet from heat.
On the same burner, increase heat to high and boil 1/2 pound fettuccine until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
Decrease heat on burner to medium and replace skillet with kale and butternut squash. Add pasta to skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and stir in reserved water, a few tablespoons at a time.
Remove skillet from heat; stir in 2 beaten large eggs. Return to heat and stir until eggs make a sauce, 30 seconds (no longer or the eggs will start to scramble). Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and serve.