This dish evolved all because I didn't know what to do with a butternut squash I had on hand. I was very determined to use it in a dish but just wasn't sure what kind of dish. While I absolutely love yellow summer squash, butternut squash has a totally different texture to it. And, I wasn't sure what it taste like as this is my 1st butternut squash. I'm not a picky eater but after looking at dozens of recipes with butternut squash in them, nothing was appealing! So, I played with several idea's and here's my take on Carbonara loaded with butternut squash and italian sausage.
1Over a medium/high heat, heat olive oil in a large deep skillet; add squash. Season lightly with salt; cook over medium high heat, stirring until lighly browned (about 8 to 10 minutes). Once browned and tender, transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl; set aside. Leave drippings in skillet and reduce heat to meduim.
2Add shallots, garlic, and sausage to drippings and cook, breaking sausage up with spoon, until sausage is lightly browned and done; season with pepper flakes and red pepper and cook 2 minutes more. NOTE: Add more pepper flakes and pepper for a spicer dish. Add wine, tomatoes and squash to skillet, toss together.
3Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salty water cook pasta until al dente, about 8 or 9 minutes. Drain pasta well, reserving 1/2 to a 1 cup of the hot pasta water. Place pasta in skillet with sausage mixture.
4In a seperate bowl (I used a glass measuring cup) beat egg yolks, add a large ladleful of the pasta water to the egg yolks (I continued to beat the egg yolks with a spring type egg beater as I add the hot water) to temper the yolks to keep them from scrambling when added to the hot pasta.
5Pour egg mixture over pasta; toss rapidly to coat pasta without scrambling the egg yolks. Remove pan from heat and add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to toss until pasta soaks up egg mixture and thickens, about 1 minute. Garnish with parlsey and extra parmesan cheese.