Recipes » Cozy Pumpkin Pasta Carbonara with Crispy Sage
Pumpkin carbonara

Cozy Pumpkin Pasta Carbonara with Crispy Sage

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Cozy pumpkin pasta carbonara with crispy sage is the perfect fall pasta to get you out of your pasta cooking rut!

Today, I had a whole can of pumpkin opened that I needed to use, and I just couldn’t think of what to make of it.

I normally associate pumpkin with sweets, but I really wanted something savory.

I thought about the pancetta I had in my fridge, waiting to be rendered. And the last few eggs from last week’s grocery trip.

And BAM! That’s when I thought of pumpkin pasta carbonara, and this recipe was born.

Pumpkin pasta carbonara

Carbonara: An Italian Classic

Have you ever tried pasta carbonara? It’s a classic Italian pasta dish made from a sauce with whole eggs, egg yolks, and cheese. You’ll whisk these ingredients together, and then add a little bit of pasta water to create a sauce.

Adding the pasta water to the eggs is called tempering – it helps bring the eggs up to a high temperature – but slowly.

Because nobody wants scrambled eggs in their pasta!

Carbonara is one of my favorite Italian pasta dishes. On both of my trips to Italy, this is one of my most popular restaurant orders. It’s often not done well in Italian restaurants in the US, but it’s totally delicious in Italy.

BUT – no need to wait for your next trip, because you don’t need to wait for your next trip to Italy, you can make this at home!

pasta with pancetta and sage leaves

The (Not So) Secret Ingredient

This recipe totally levels up carbonara but adding canned pumpkin.

The pumpkin isn’t overpowering at all – in fact, I think it makes the carbonara even better! All you need to do is pick some up at your local grocery store. But if they’re out, did you know you can buy pumpkin on Amazon? Check out this deal here!

Savory pumpkin, salty pancetta, and crispy sage are just the perfect trio for this twist on an Italian classic.

I made this recipe in under 30 minutes – and you can too!

This is perfect for a fancy feeling weeknight dinner, romantic date night, or easy weekend meal! P.S. If you’re looking for a summery carbonara dish, check out my Corn and Shrimp Carbonara Recipe!

Pumpkin carbonara pasta with sage

Cozy Pumpkin Pasta Carbonara with Crispy Sage Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta (I used fettuccini)
  • 4 oz pancetta
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 12-15 fresh sage leaves


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When water is boiling, cook pasta to package directions. Before draining, reserve one cup of pasta water and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, add pancetta to a large pan on medium heat. Let the pancetta cook until it’s browned and crispy. Remove pancetta from pan, keeping the rendered fat in the pan. Quickly fry the sage in the pan and place on a lined paper towel.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, yolks, 1/2 cup of parmesan, pumpkin, and salt and pepper. Whisk well.

Slowly add some of the pasta water to the egg mixture, about 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well. This will temper the egg, slowly bring it up to the temperature of the pasta so the eggs will not scramble.

Add about 5 tbsp of water, each one at a time, to the egg mixture, making sure all is mixed well. This is now your sauce.

Add pasta back into the pot. Add the carbonara sauce to the pasta, mixing well.

If it seems too thick, add 1 tbsp pasta water at a time.

Serve pasta topped with pancetta, crispy sage, and remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan.


  1. Delicious I love pumpkin!

  2. I didn’t know that pumpkin pastas could taste this amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. I never thought of using pumpkin for a pasta sauce. I can’t wait to try it!

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