Fried Sage & Pumpkin Carbonara. If every recipe on this blog could be pasta, I would probably let it. I am just in love with pumpkin, bacon & winter herb combo so a carbonara is perfect. Lots of grated Parmesan & crispy bacon with fried sage balance the sweetness of pumpkin so well. A tiny hint of cinnamon kind of rounds out all of these beautiful fall flavors. Plus the sauce gets so creamy, and beautiful & it is a delicious dinner to make or serve to guests.
Pumpkin Carbonara Sauce
I like to cook my bacon the whole time I am making the pumpkin sauce so it can cook medium-low, slow and I can have my eyes off while I work on something else. So, Bacon first. While it cooks, whisk cheese, some salt, pepper, cinnamon, pumpkin and the egg yolks. When this sauce cooks in the hot pasta water & noodles, the cheese will melt, the egg yolks will cook slowly and the sauce will be silky and beautiful.
Whisk it all together and set aside. You can also start bringing your water to boil whenever you are ready. Salt it well because your two best seasoning moments are going to be the pumpkin mixture & your salted water. Cook the spaghetti & reserve about one cup of salty pasta water before draining the spaghetti.
Pasta Water Magic
The hot spaghetti noodles & hot salty pasta water is actually the most important step because it is going to marry the pumpkin & cheese mixture to the noodles. Pour the hot, drained spaghetti back into the pot with the pasta water & put heat on low. Add the pumpkin mixture and stir with your rubber spatula until sauce looks creamy & pasta water is combined. Add chopped bacon & fried sage. Toss. I like lots of black pepper here as well.
Serve with more parm & black pepper. It really is a beautiful, simple and really tasty fall dinner.
When you make this Fried Sage & Pumpkin Carbonara with tons of crispy bacon, please let me know your thoughts in the comments. I have a roasted Maple Butternut Squash with Pancetta as a Thanksgiving side dish. It is a similar blend of flavors, but a little different as a roasted veg. And I think you would love it.
Fried Sage & Pumpkin Carbonara
- 1 lb Spaghetti
- fresh Cracked Black Pepper ground black pepper
- 8 slices Thick Cut Bacon
- 4 oz Grated Parmigiano Reggiano + more for serving
- 1 & 1/2 cups Pumpkin Puree
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 cup Fresh Sage Leaves picked off stem
- Make Bacon: Heat large skillet on medium-low for bacon. Lay bacon on pan & cook on medium-low until fat is rendered and bacon is nice and crispy. Lay on double lined paper towel. The sage leaves will fry in the bacon & when they feel crisp you can remove them to paper towels as well. Chop bacon up or crumble and set aside. Rough chop up sage leaves *i leave some whole for garnish*.
- Cook Pasta: Place a large pot of salted water to boil. In a small bowl, whisk cheese, pumpkin puree, egg yolks, pinch salt & pinch black pepper, 1/8tsp or less cinnamon & set side. Cook spaghetti according to instructions on the box. Make sure to reserve 1 cup pasta water right before draining your spaghetti.*
- Sauce your Noodles: Add your cooked spaghetti back into the pot. Put the heat on low. Add pumpkin mixture over noodles and start stirring with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Pour pasta water over it. Continue to stir until cheese is melted, everything is combined & pumpkin carbonara is silky smooth over the noodles. Add crumbled bacon, more black pepper & chopped fried sage. Toss.
- Serve: Serve with more cheese, black pepper & sage leaves.