Butternut Squash Carbonara with Ham


Η συνταγή και στα ελληνικά στο τέλος της ανάρτησης!

In the old days, here in Greece, squash was a quite spurned vegetable. As a kid, I never remember myself eating at home or out of it, a dish made from squash. To be perfectly honest, the only squash I knew was that of Cinderella’s fairytale. Squash was occasionally cultivated and there were only two types of pies made with it, a sweet which I believe it is delicious and not too sweet and a savory one.

The last ten years and because of the internet invasion in our lives, people got to know this vegetable more and more. They discovered new ways of cooking with it and they finally begun to embrace it and include it in their everyday cooking. Not as much as you in North America, but still much more than what we used to.


I was craving a pasta this past weekend, one with a light sauce and perhaps a ham of some kind. Because I watch my weight, I try to avoid carbohydrates most of the time, but here and there I let myself indulge in the total charm of a well cooked pasta dish. Since, I am scanning internet all the time for ideas, I saw in Bon Appetit a squash carbonara. I loved the idea of transforming a quite heavy in calories and digestion dish, to another packed with vegetables and so less fatty. So, having this in mind, I started creating my own version of it.

Squash Carbonara

Because, I address to male audience in my family, I knew I had to add something meaty in it, so it would be appealing to them as well. I decided to use Apáki. Apáki is a fatless pork meat cured for two to three days in wine vinegar. It is produced in a specific place in the Greek island of Crete called Anógia. After the curing, it is hanged from the ceiling and is smoked with herbs. It is then covered with spices and herbs and packed. It has an acidulous taste and it is very aromatic. You can eat it as it is or sauté it for a couple of minutes or add it in any casserole or pot meal.

So, I put the sauce on the pasta and then above it I added the roasted pieces of the squash and the sautéed apáki ham. You will notice that I use the rind of the parmigiano Reggiano piece. I didn’t know that, but a chef taught me that it gives an umami taste to the sauces. Umami is translated as a pleasant savory taste from Japanese. My son, who is not very fond of squash and he was very suspicious and hesitant in the beginning, he loved it so much he wanted a second round, my husband too. If you want a pasta dish that is tasty but not heavy then that’s the one for you! And if you don’t have apáki, don’t worry you can use any ham you can find in your area. Also, you can check these completely unique Squash Stuffed Ravioli made with Puff Pastry or these Marmarites for more ideas.




5.0 from 9 reviews
Butternut Squash Carbonara with Ham
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Serves: 4
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 1 kilo / 2 lb butternut squash flesh
  • 200 gr./ 4 oz. ham, cut in cubes
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetables stock
  • 500 gr. / 18 oz. linguini
  • 3 tbsp parmigiano Reggiano + (the rind of the parmigiano piece, optional)
  • Olive oil
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Take 400 gr. / 14 oz. of the squash flesh and put it in a preheated oven at 175°C/ 350° F until it becomes soft.
  2. In a deep skillet pour 3 to 4 tbsp of olive oil.
  3. In medium/high heat sauté the onion, garlic and the rest 600 gr. / 21 oz. of the squash for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the stock and the cheese rind and bring to boil.
  5. Add salt and pepper and the sage and rosemary.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash becomes soft.
  7. In the meantime in another skillet sauté the ham until it takes a nice color.
  8. Remove and set aside.
  9. When the squash is ready either puree it in your blender or with an immersion blender puree the squash inside your skillet.
  10. Add the 3 tbsp of parmigiano and let it melt.
  11. By now also the rind of the cheese will be melted as well.
  12. Serve squash sauce over linguini topped with roasted squash and ham.
  13. You can add more pepper or more cheese on top.

5.0 from 9 reviews
Καρμπονάρα Κολοκύθας με Απάκι
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Serves: 4
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 1 κιλό σάρκα κολοκύθας
  • 200 γρ. απάκι, κομμένο σε κύβους
  • 1 κ.σ. φρέσκο φασκόμηλο, λεπτοκομμένο
  • 1 κλωναράκι δεντρολίβανο
  • Αλάτι και πιπέρι
  • 1 κρεμμύδι, ψιλοκομμένο
  • 1 σκελίδα σκόρδο, λιωμένο
  • 2 φλ. ζωμό λαχανικών ή κοτόπουλου
  • 500 γρ. λιγκουίνι
  • 3 κ.σ. παρμεζάνα + (την φλούδα του κομματιού της παρμεζάνα, προαιρετικό)
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Πάρτε 400 γρ. της κολοκύθας και βάλτε τη σε προθερμασμένο φούρνο στους 175° C μέχρι να γίνει μαλακή.
  2. Σε μια βαθιά κατσαρόλα ρίξτε 3-4 κ.σ. ελαιόλαδο.
  3. Σε μέτρια/υψηλή θερμοκρασία σοτάρετε το κρεμμύδι, το σκόρδο και τα υπόλοιπα 600 γρ. της κολοκύθας, για περίπου 5 λεπτά.
  4. Προσθέστε το ζωμό και τη φλούδα της παρμεζάνας και βράστε.
  5. Προσθέστε αλάτι και πιπέρι, το φασκόμηλο και το δεντρολίβανο.
  6. Μειώστε τη θερμοκρασία και σιγοβράστε μέχρι να μαλακώσει η κολοκύθα.
  7. Εν τω μεταξύ σε μια άλλη κατσαρόλα τσιγαρίστε το απάκι μέχρι να πάρει ένα ωραίο χρώμα.
  8. Βάλτε το στην άκρη.
  9. Όταν η κολοκύθα είναι έτοιμη λιώστε τη στο μπλέντερ σας ή με το ραβδομπλέντερ κατευθείαν στην κατσαρόλα.
  10. Προσθέστε τις 3 κ.σ. παρμεζάνας και αφήστε το να λιώσει.
  11. Μέχρι τώρα επίσης η φλούδα του τυριού θα λιώσει επίσης.
  12. Σερβίρετε τη σάλτσα κολοκύθας πάνω από τα λιγκουίνι και γαρνίρετε με την ψημένη κολοκύθα και το απάκι.
  13. Μπορείτε να προσθέσετε πιπέρι ή περισσότερο τυρί από πάνω.


53 Responses to Butternut Squash Carbonara with Ham

  1. nipponnin says:

    Great, satisfying dish! I enjoyed the story too.

  2. 2
  3. rebecca says:

    love adding butternut squash to dishes like this

  4. 3
  5. mjskitchen says:

    I have everything in the ingredient list. We’ll be having this for supper this weekend. Those pictures have me craving this dish! My husband is one of those that doesn’t need a lot of meat, but does like a little meat so this is perfect! Thanks Katerina!

  6. 4
  7. Lisa Sharp says:

    I love ham and pasta! This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  8. 5
  9. What a wonderful seasonal dish! And stunning pictures too!

  10. 6
  11. Beth says:

    I didn’t care for squash as a child, and now I happily eat it all the time. What a great way to serve it!

  12. 7
  13. Debra says:

    I so, so, so had to pin this. Will be making this soon, I am sure. I love the herbs you added.

  14. 8
  15. Sissi says:

    Katerina, your pasta looks fabulous. I don’t think I’ve ever seen squash pasta before, so it’s also quite original. I also haven’t tasted squash (or any similar orange vegetable) before I was an adult…
    Apaki sounds incredibly good from the way you describe it. I have to remember to taste it when I go to Greece. Thanks to you the tasting list for this first trip will be very very long….

  16. 9
  17. I didn’t know about the deliciousness of the rind of the parmigiano piece. Your whole dish looks very delicious. I don’t use squash much myself, but am encouraged now to try some!

  18. 10
  19. Yummy dish and fabulous photos as always..

  20. 11
  21. Nicky says:

    This looks like a wonderful dish. I’ve never had anything like Apáki. It sounds amazing. I’ve combined squash and smoked ham before and it was delicious. I would imagine this unique type of pork with be heavenly.

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  23. I love that squash is part of the sauce as well as cubed on the dish!

  24. 13
  25. Regina says:

    It might be so good Katerina, it’s mouthwatering!

    I’ve been cooking a lot with butternut squash but have not tried it in pasta, reading your recipe I felt like doing as soon as possible. Definitely a great idea!

  26. 14
  27. Miz Helen says:

    This is a wonderful dish that we will just love! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  28. 15
  29. Wow, interesting! So does the squash make the dish taste slightly sweet? I always feel like anything with squash does….

  30. 16
  31. I love all kinds of squash and especially butternut. This sounds delicious!

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  33. Erica (@Erica's Recipes) says:

    Oh I am so glad you discovered butternut! I’m from New England and grew up with it every single holiday, made by my grandmother. So I have a special affection for that squash in particular. Love your recipe!

  34. 18
  35. What a wonderful sweet and savory dish!

  36. 19
  37. Ohh I love the idea of a carbonara that isn’t all raw egg. Tasty!

  38. 20
  39. Tara says:

    What a delicious pairing, I love the ham and squash with the sage, YUM!

  40. 21
  41. Daniela says:

    Pasta and squash is just my kind of combination.
    Thank you for sharing thus wonderful and inspiring dish!

  42. 22
  43. That’s so interesting about you never having squash as a child. Although, I guess it’s true that I never really think “squash” at the same moment that I think “traditional Greek recipes”! Regardless, it looks delicious as part of this recipe – such a great addition for both flavor and nutrition!

  44. 23
  45. Jessica says:

    This sounds wonderful. I love butternut squash and I can just imagine how nicely it pairs with the ham you used! Yumm!

  46. 24
  47. Elizabeth says:

    I’m really loving the sound of this! Loads of vegetables AND it’s total comfort food too!

  48. 25
  49. GiGi Eats says:

    THE FRIGGIN BEST THING!!! Butternut SQUASH = YUMMMMM and Ham = fatty, salty deliciousness!

  50. 26
  51. Liz says:

    The men in my family would need the meat added, too. I’d love to try your cured pork one day–hope to get to Greece in the next few years! Your pasta looks marvelous!!

  52. 27
  53. What a beautiful fall meal Katerina! I love butternut squash!

  54. 28
  55. Butternut squash makes a delicious sweet sauce, I recently made some myself. This is a comforting dish.

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  57. This looks like the perfect dinner. Creamy, yummy, healthy from all the butternut squash. Get in my belly! Yum!

  58. 30
  59. Heidy says:

    Fantastic use of squash Katerina, I think this would be perfect for dinner ASAP!

  60. 31
  61. Just looking at that lovely dish I can imagine how it tastes. Wonderful!

  62. 32
  63. Abigail says:

    I love that you made this delicious and very healthy version of carbonara and it is so fall-perfect, too!

  64. 33
  65. I keep seeing people use butternut squash to create a sauce. It is definitely on my to do list.

  66. 34
  67. Susan says:

    I have a BIG fan of butternut squash and love this dish. The rosemary and sage sound wonderful together with the lightened carbonara. Well done!

  68. 35
  69. That pasta looks so creamy and delicious!

  70. 36
  71. Pam says:

    This sounds and looks delicious, Katerina! I grew up on a farm in Ohio and don’t remember ever having squash until I was married and cooked it. Love it so this is a great recipe with ham added to it. Thanks for sharing!

  72. 37
  73. Ooh I love the sound of the butternut squash carbonara. What a lovely autumnal version of a classic!

  74. 38
  75. What a fantastic idea to use the squash as the sauce – I bet it is really creamy. I can’t wait to try this.

  76. 39
  77. marcela says:

    yum! It looks amazing! I love the pictures you took!

  78. 40
  79. Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing on the Healthy Living Link Party.

  80. 41
  81. Barbara says:

    My mouth is watering! I want that for my dinner. Looks fabulous, Katerina. Love that you used butternut squash in it…my favorite.

  82. 42
  83. Ola says:

    I must try it out! I have not yet eaten pumpkin this fall

  84. 43
  85. Nadji says:

    Un mélange de saveurs très appétissant. J’aime beaucoup.
    A bientôt

  86. 44
  87. grace says:

    i haven’t seen butternut squash served like this before and it’s a terrific idea! my mouth is actually watering. :)

  88. 45
  89. Καλημερα!
    Χορτασα απο τις φωτογραφιες! LIKE!

  90. 46
  91. Mary Frances says:

    Butternut squash and carbonara is a fantastic combination!! Looks amazing :)

  92. 47
  93. Can’t get enough of butternut squash these days! This is super duper Fall lunch idea, Katerina.

  94. 48
  95. Kate says:

    I support squash and pasta! I had pumpkin filled ravioli last night!

  96. 49
  97. Η κολοκύθα όταν ψηθεί αποκτά μια αναπάντεχα (για μένα τουλάχιστον) υπέροχη γεύση!
    Το πιάτο σου Κατερίνα μου ειλικρινά με γέμισε ενθουσιασμό.
    Μου αρέσει που δεν περιέχονται τα κλασικά αυγά της καρμπονάρας, λατρεύω το απάκι και μου αρέσουν πολύ τα αρωματικά που έχεις χρησιμοποιήσει.
    Και τέλεια η ιδέα να προσθέσεις στη σάλτσα τη φλούδα από την παρμεζάνα!
    Φουλ αξιοποίηση υλικών αλλά και γεύση!
    Σε φιλώ!

  98. 50
  99. I was just at a squash farm with over 100 varieties, I have lots at home to cook so just may gives the wonderful recipe a try.

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  101. Sammie says:

    Would definitely love to try this! Big fan of both butternut squash and carbonara! Best of both worlds here!

  102. 52
  103. Sues says:

    Yes, please!! I haven’t made carbonara in way too long and I love this version with squash and ham!

  104. 53
  105. Tante Kiki says:

    Καλημέρα Κατερίνα!
    Υπέροχη εκδοχή της καρμπονάρα και πανέμορφες φωτογραφίες!!
    Καλή εβδομάδα!

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