I’m eating this for lunch now as I’m writing this post and I can tell you right now that this vegan butternut squash carbonara with beet “bacon” is my new favorite pasta dish! I’ve always loved both butternut squash and beetroot, and it’s been on my to do list for ages to combine these two. I’ve made a mac n cheese from butternut squash but this time I wanted something more “meaty”.
Click here to read this post in Finnish.
I’ve already experimented with coconut, carrot and eggplant bacon (unfortunately no recipe here as they’ve been undocumented experiments) and I’ve also made marinated beetroot as pizza toppings. So this time I combined “bacon” and my marinated beetroot recipes to make pasta carbonara.
It’s been several years since I’ve tasted authentic carbonara, but I remember it being very creamy and rich, and the bacon bits were salty and smoky – strong umami flavor. That was what I was going after with my beet bacon too, but beet bacon is:
- less greasy
- with a delicate umami flavor
If you like beets I’m sure you’ll love this “bacon”!
Beet is the “bacon” and butternut squash is the creamy (egg) sauce. Combining roasted butternut squash with vegan cream cheese and spices adds a delicious “carbonara” creaminess. Butternut squash and beets are both sweet veggies, so I recommend to add a lot of:
- Vegan parmesan for saltiness
- Black pepper to get a more authentic carbonara flavor
I will serve this for dinner tonight and I hope the kids will love it as much as I do. I really want this meal on our monthly autumn & winter meal list 🙂
Sending cozy vibes from the forest!
- Butternut squash sauce
- 1 butternut squash appr. 20 oz /560 g
- 3 small cloves of garlic
- 5 oz / 150 g vegan cream cheese (I use oat based from Oatly)
- ¼ cups nutritional yeast
- ⅓ cups pasta cooking water
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- optional: olive oil for roasting
- Beet bacon
- 4 small beetroot appr.6 oz / 180 g
- For the marinade:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1,5 tbsp tamari sauce
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup (or other sweetener)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp liquid smoke (optional for extra smoky flavor)
- ½ tsp onion powder
- pinches of salt and pepper
- Pasta (either gluten-free or wheat)
- Vegan parmesan (store bought hard salty cheese)
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 390 F / 200 C.
- Peel and cut butternut into small pieces and put pieces on a baking tin lined with parchment paper.
- Mix about 1 tsp olive oil into the butternut squash pieces until they're all coated (this step is optional, you can also roast them without oil).
- Roast butternut squash in the oven for about 25 min (depending on oven and how small the pieces are).
- Cook pasta and prepare the beetroot.
- Peel and slice beetroot into thin pieces. You can use a mandolin or a cheese cutter or a very sharp knife.
- Make the beet marinade by mixing all the ingredients. Taste and add more salt / sweetness / ACV to achieve a balanced flavor.
- Put the sliced beets on a large plate and coat with marinade. Let marinate while you roast the butternut squash and cook the pasta.
- When the pasta is cooked, save about ⅓ cups pasta cooking water for the sauce.
- Place the beet bacon slices in a baking tray so that they are not on top of each other. Coat with leftover marinade (from the plate where you marinated them) and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven and how thinly you sliced the beets). Be careful not to burn the beets, so check frequently after 10 minutes.
- Let "bacon" chill for a while and then cut into small pieces.
- To make the butternut squash sauce add roasted squash pieces into a blender with all other ingredients. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the sauce into the cooked pasta, add a generous amount of grated parmesan, add black pepper and mix until fully combined.
- To serve: you can also swirl in the beet bacon or serve it separately with black pepper, parsley and parmesan.