Butternut “Carbonara”

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What’s for dinner?

As winter rears the last of its ugly head, I decided to make the best of the season’s last butternut squash at my local produce market.

butternut

White wine recommendation: Henri Martischang Pinot Gris. The richness of the wine is a perfect match for this creamy (yet guilt-free!) pasta. Acidity to cleanse the palate and subtility to let the emphasis remain on the dish while enhancing its flavors.

Red wine recommendation: Chateau de la Viaudiere Rouge Tuilé. This unoaked Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect as it’s light enough to not overwhelm the pasta yet has enough spice and complexity to stand up to the bacon and the spices.

I adapted a recipe from Epicurious (see link here). I started off with thick-cut bacon pieces (similar to lardons but much lower in fat) which I pan-fried over high heat. (Bacon makes everything better in my world but you can adapt for vegetarians by leaving it out). Once cooked, I removed them from the pan and threw in the onions, garlic and butternut along with some dried Herbes de Provence (didn’t have any sage). I deglazed the pan with just a dash of white wine and let everything cook until the veggies started to soften. Then I added one glass of white wine and one of water along with a couple of stock cubes. Once the sauce was reduced by about half, I added a couple of dollops of creme fraiche before I blended everything with an immersible blender.  There was enough sauce to easily serve 4 or 5 people so it’s great for an easy dinner and served with a dusting of grated parmesan, was good enough to impress some very picky French friends of mine!