Carbonara is one of the quintessential, classic pasta dishes of Rome, and I always like to put my own spin on it. For fall, nothing sounded more comforting than giving it a warm, autumnal element – so I introduced pureed pumpkin and nutmeg to the dish. It was a fast favorite in my house, and I’ll be making it on repeat throughout the season – it’s so comforting and creamy, and really easy to whip up on any night. I love to serve it with a simple salad, like my Kale Caesar.
Additionally, if you don’t have pancetta, you can absolutely used diced up bacon instead!
- 1 pound long pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1/2 onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season the water generously with salt. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than package directions, about 10 minutes. Drain well reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, to the pitcher of a blender add the pumpkin, chicken broth, egg, egg yolk, pecorino, nutmeg and black pepper. Puree on high until smooth.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and pancetta and cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes or until the pancetta is golden and crispy. Add the garlic, onions and salt to the pan and cook, stirring often, for another 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and fragrant. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and sprinkle the bare pasta with the parmesan cheese. Add 1/4 cup of pasta water and toss to coat. Add the pumpkin mixture to the pasta and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes adding more pasta water as needed until the mixture is slightly thickened and coats the pasta. Be sure to stir and toss the pasta constantly as to not scramble the egg. Serve topped with additional parmesan, black pepper and parsley if desired.