Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara

Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara
This quicker version of homemade chicken noodle soup skips cooking a whole chicken and calls on boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. The soup still tastes incredible, satisfying, and classic. The significantly reduced cook time makes this chicken soup from scratch possible on a weeknight. We highly recommend chicken thighs for this because of their flavour and soft texture when cooked, but if you prefer them, chicken breasts will work.
 
Makes 6 servings
 
Ingredients
 
2 tablespoons butter, chicken fat or olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)

Heaped tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp fresh parsley (or 1/2 tbsp dried parsley)

3 sprigs fresh thyme OR 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 or 5 thighs)

8 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium or use homemade stock

5 ounces egg noodles (or pasta of choice)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Water or more stock, as needed

Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring every few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften; 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook, while stirring the garlic around the pan, for about 1 minute.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a low simmer. Taste the soup then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Depending on the stock used, you might need to add 1 or more teaspoons of salt.

Submerge the chicken thighs into the soup so that the broth covers them. Bring the soup back to a low simmer then partially cover the pot with a lid and cook, stirring a few times until the chicken thighs are cooked through; about 20 minutes.

If, during this time, the broth seems low, add a splash more stock or a bit of water. Turn the heat to medium-low.

Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Stir the noodles into the soup and cook until done, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the type of noodles used.

While the noodles cook, shred the chicken into strips or dice into cubes. Slide the chicken back into the pot and then taste the soup once more for seasoning. Adjust with more salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Yields5 Servings
 6 slices bacon, chopped
 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
 1 small yellow onion, chopped (1 heaping cup)
 1 1.75 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 1 14.5 oz can low-sodium chicken broth
 1 pinch ground nutmeg
 ¼ cup heavy cream (or half and half for a lighter option)
 14 oz dry linguine
  cup finely shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1

Cook bacon in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (reducing heat slightly if needed) until browned and crisp, add sage and toss to coat in drippings. 
Remove bacon and sage from skillet while leaving 2 Tbsp rendered bacon fat in skillet, transfer bacon and sage to a plate lined with paper towels, set aside.
Add onions to drippings in skillet and saute over medium-high heat 2 minutes, then add squash, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally 7 minutes (onions should be beginning to brown lightly). 
Add in garlic and cook, tossing occasionally, 2 minutes longer. Pour in chicken broth, sprinkle in nutmeg and bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer until broth has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook linguine to al dente in a large pot of salted water according to directions on package (ideally time it so pasta finishes cooking nearly the same time as the sauce is finished in the next step below). Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
Let simmered squash mixture cool for a few minutes then transfer mixture to a blender (reserve skillet) and add cream to blender*, cover with lid then remove lids center insert. While holding a folded kitchen towel over lid blend mixture until smooth.
In reserved skillet combined drained pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water. 
Cook over medium heat, tossing and adding in more pasta water to thin as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
Toss in 1/3 cup parmesan, season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate and serve pasta topped with parmesan, bacon, sage and more pepper.

Category

Ingredients

 6 slices bacon, chopped
 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
 1 small yellow onion, chopped (1 heaping cup)
 1 1.75 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 1 14.5 oz can low-sodium chicken broth
 1 pinch ground nutmeg
 ¼ cup heavy cream (or half and half for a lighter option)
 14 oz dry linguine
  cup finely shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Directions

1

Cook bacon in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (reducing heat slightly if needed) until browned and crisp, add sage and toss to coat in drippings. 
Remove bacon and sage from skillet while leaving 2 Tbsp rendered bacon fat in skillet, transfer bacon and sage to a plate lined with paper towels, set aside.
Add onions to drippings in skillet and saute over medium-high heat 2 minutes, then add squash, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally 7 minutes (onions should be beginning to brown lightly). 
Add in garlic and cook, tossing occasionally, 2 minutes longer. Pour in chicken broth, sprinkle in nutmeg and bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer until broth has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook linguine to al dente in a large pot of salted water according to directions on package (ideally time it so pasta finishes cooking nearly the same time as the sauce is finished in the next step below). Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
Let simmered squash mixture cool for a few minutes then transfer mixture to a blender (reserve skillet) and add cream to blender*, cover with lid then remove lids center insert. While holding a folded kitchen towel over lid blend mixture until smooth.
In reserved skillet combined drained pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water. 
Cook over medium heat, tossing and adding in more pasta water to thin as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
Toss in 1/3 cup parmesan, season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate and serve pasta topped with parmesan, bacon, sage and more pepper.

Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara

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