Recipes » Dinner » Pumpkin Carbonara with Crispy Sage

Pumpkin Carbonara with Crispy Sage

One tell-tale sign it’s fall in New England is the chill in the air when you wake up in the morning. The sun is still strong in the afternoon, but when the sun goes down, the air is crisp and chilly! So it’s time…it’s time for my first pumpkin recipe of the season! So let’s start with a really good one: Pumpkin Carbonara. I’m taking my recipe for classic carbonara and adding pumpkin purée for an earthiness and a beautiful orange color, and a touch of nutmeg that plays incredibly well off the meatiness of pancetta! Believe it or not, plain pumpkin isn’t sweet, so it’s perfect in a savory dish like carbonara.

With crispy fried sage on the top, this autumn take on carbonara is just a touch of fall without being overpowering.

My STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO below will help guide you through the recipe. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for recipe videos every week!




Makes: for 4 people

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

The Ingredients

1-pound spaghetti

1 cup good quality canned, unflavored pumpkin purée

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or sub grana padano), plus more to garnish

8 ounces diced pancetta (you can also sub bacon for a smokier flavor)

1/2 medium sweet onion, finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 egg & 1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more to garnish

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

6-10 fresh sage leaves

1 cup reserved pasta water




The Steps

For pancetta mixture: Cook pancetta (or bacon if preferred) in a large, dry pan until light golden brown. Drain off extra fat. Add olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Over medium heat, sweat for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent. Keep heat on lowest setting and set aside.

For pumpkin mixture: In a bowl, add pumpkin purée, egg and egg yolk, parmigiano, ground nutmeg, and black pepper. Mix together until combined. Set aside.

TIP: I don’t add salt because the cheese and pancetta are salty!

For pasta: Boil pasta until al dente, according to box instructions.

For crispy sage: When the pasta has about 3 minutes left, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Also, in a separate small skillet, add 1 tablespoon butter and let melt over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and let fry for 1-3 minutes until just crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble: Add drained, hot pasta to pancetta mixture over low heat. Add in pumpkin mixture and 1/2 cup hot pasta water. Stirring continuously (so eggs don’t scramble), mix and fold pasta until combined and creamy. If mixture looks dry, add another 1/4 cup pasta water, stirring to combine.

To serve: Serve immediately with more parmigiano, black pepper, and fried sage leaves.




The Steps with Video

My STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO below will help guide you through the recipe. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for recipe videos every week!


picture of grace eating

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