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Vegan Butternut Squash Carbonara with Coconut Bacon + Crispy Sage

Course Pasta
Author Izy


  • the neck of a medium butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 to 5 sage leaves , , chiffonaded
  • 1 medium white onion , , diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic , , crushed
  • 1/2 a vegetable stock cube , (see notes)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp tahini , (optional)
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) hot water
  • 170 g dry spaghetti
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) pasta water (reserved from cooking)
  • To serve:
  • coconut bacon , (see recipe below)
  • raw almonds , , for shaving


  • Peel the neck of the squash and cut it into 1 inch cubes. Toss in 1/2 tbsp of oil and place onto a baking tray. Roast in an oven preheated to 180 C (350 F) for 30-40 minutes until tender.
  • Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and fry until crispy - remove with a slotted spatula or spoon to a paper towel to drain.
  • Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packet - don't forget to reserve the 125ml (1/2 cup) of the cooking water for the sauce!!! Drain the pasta and return it to the pot (off the heat).
  • Add the onions to the frying pan you were using earlier. If there isn't much oil left, add a splash more and cook the onion over a medium-low heat until translucent.
  • Add the crushed garlic and saute for about a minute, just to remove the rawness, then transfer the onion and garlic to a blender.
  • Add the stock cube, nutritional yeast, tahini and hot water and blend until smooth. Add the roasted squash and blend until smooth. Pour in the cooking water a little at a time, blending between additions, until a smooth, creamy sauce is achieved.
  • Pour the sauce over the pasta in the pot stirring to coat (stir over a low heat if the sauce/pasta need warming up). Divide the pasta between 2 bowls and top with the crispy sage, coconut bacon and microplane over some almonds for a parmesan effect.


- Sauce adapted from Bon Appetit
- I find vegetable stock cubes quite salty so I haven't added any extra salt to the recipe here. However, as brands vary (and as you may use homemade veg stock instead), season to taste with salt if needed.
- the tahini isn't completely necessary as the sauce is creamy on its own but I find it makes it even richer + balances the sweet flavour of the sauce.
- If you're okay with consuming dairy, cream cheese can also replace the tahini