Sometimes I write my own recipes. Sometimes I adapt a recipe from another source. But there are still other recipes that are born in a place that’s somewhere in between. Take this Winter Squash Carbonara, it wasn’t my idea. I saw those three words in the current issue of Bon Appétit magazine and was sold by the title alone. Creamy winter squash, chewy pancetta, and al dente pasta– finished with a big grind of black pepper. I knew I’d be making some version of Winter Squash Carbonara sometime very soon.
When that time came this past week, I gave the recipe a look-see. Their version starts with a sauté of winter squash. Well, I prefer to roast winter squash most of the time. So when I started to make their version of Winter Squash Carbonara, I roasted butternut squash. I call this adapting a recipe because I adapted it to my preferences and cooking skills.
However, once I started adapting it I came across another problem. In its original form, this recipe seemed better suited as a primi pasta at a nice dinner party. I was looking for a complete weeknight meal served all on one plate. I added asparagus tips to save me from having to put something green on a separate plate. So I guess it’s fair to say I augmented this Winter Squash Carbonara recipe from an adapted Bon Appétit recipe.
Of course, there were substitutions as well, there always are…
They used pancetta. I used bacon. However, subbing bacon for pancetta does not make me a genius. It makes me lazy. I would have preferred pancetta, but I had bacon. Did I mention this was a weeknight meal? There was no chance in H‑E-Double-Toothpicks I was going to the market after 5 pm. I live in Los Angeles. Do you think I’m crazy? Why do you think I learned to augment and adapt in the first place? GREG