What's Cooking: Pasta Carbonara - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

What's Cooking: Pasta Carbonara

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Executive Chief Tim McQuinn of the North Hero House prepared pasta carbonara for the Morning Show.

Pasta Carbonara


2 lbs butternut squash; peeled, seeded and cut into a medium dice

1 lb. bacon, small dice

1 medium yellow onion, small dice

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 batch of fresh pasta, Recipe Follows

1/4 cup of sage and hazelnut pesto, Recipe Follows

4 fresh whole eggs

white distilled vinegar

Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped fine

grated parmesan cheese


Have a large pot of water at the ready for boiling pasta.  Heat a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the bacon to the pan as the pan begins to heat along with a 1/4 cup of water.  The water will help render the fat from the bacon while keeping the bacon from burning in the pan. Eventually the water will evaporate leaving you with rendered bacon and bacon fat.  Remove the bacon to an absorbent paper towel with a slotted spoon and reserve.  Poor off all but 3 tbsp. of the bacon fat.  

In the same saute pan with the 3 tbsp. of bacon fat, heat on medium high, add the yellow onions and sweat the onions until they begin to turn translucent and tender for about 8 minutes.  Add the butternut squash to the pan.  At this point, you want to stir only occasionally so the squash begins to caramelize and develop some nice color and flavor.  Continue to cook until the squash is tender.  About 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  This pot will be for poaching the eggs.  Season with a few pinches of salt and a few tbsp. of white distilled vinegar.  This will keep the egg whites together as the egg poaches.  Crack the four eggs into four small bowls.  Gently drop the eggs, one-by-one, into the water and immediately turn down the heat to as gentle a simmer as possible.  Continue to poach the eggs until the whites are set and the yolk is still nice and soft.  Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon.  Don't discard the water just yet!  Save it to quickly rewarm the eggs before serving the pasta.  

To finish the dish, season the boiling pasta water with salt.  Add in four handfuls of your fresh homemade pasta and cook until tender.  Fresh pasta cooks much quicker than dry pasta.  It should take about 1.5 minutes approximately.  Drain the pasta reserving a little of the water to help loosen the squash and bacon mixture in the pan.  Add the pasta to the squash and bacon and toss over medium high heat.  Add the sage and hazelnut pesto, parsley and toss through. Rewarm the eggs by adding to the poaching liquid used earlier to poach the eggs. Plate the pasta on four plates and top with the egg.  Grate some parmesan cheese over the top and enjoy.

Fresh Pasta

12 Egg Yolks

1 1/2 cups  AP Flour

 1 Splash Whole Milk


Combine yolks with the milk.  Mound flour on a clean work bench or counter and make a well in the middle.  Add the eggs and milk to the well in the flour.  Stir the eggs, while slowly incorporating the flour into the eggs until the dough begins to develop.  At this point begin to knead the pasta dough, adding flour if the dough feels a little too tacky.   Knead the dough until smooth; about 10 minutes.  Wrap in plastic and let rest in the cooler for at least 1 hour.  

Once rested, you can either use a pasta machine and roll it out to its thinnest setting or roll the pasta dough out by hand; as thin as you can.  Once the pasta is rolled out, fold up the sheets and using a sharp knife, cut the pasta sheets into fettuccine.  At this point, let the pasta air dry for an hour.  That way it won't stick to each other when you boil the pasta.

Sage-Hazelnut Pesto

1 cup fresh sage leaves

1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley leaves

6 cloves garlic

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts

olive oil

salt and pepper

In a food processor, add the herbs, garlic, cheese and hazelnuts and a 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Pulse the food processor until the everything begins to form a coarse paste.  With the processor running, slowly drizzle in a little more olive oil, another 1/4 - 1/2 cup.  Season with salt and pepper.  

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