This fall pappardelle carbonara is fast, silky, cheesy, and tastes just like autumn with the additions of pumpkin puree, rosemary, and thyme! If you love a classic carbonara but are looking for a twist, you will love this 30 minute recipe that is so flavorful and uses a whole can of pumpkin puree.
A classic carbonara is always so delicious, but if you're looking to add a new version to your rotation then this pumpkin-filled pasta dish is the one! It has many of the same ingredients as a traditional carbonara, with the addition of pumpkin puree and some fall herbs to add extra flavor. As mentioned, it also uses a whole can of pumpkin so you won't have any leftover that may go to waste.
If it's fall and you are hoping to make all the pumpkin recipes but you have someone in your family who doesn't always love the thought of it, I'm here to assure you that my husband loved this pasta dish despite not loving pumpkin! It's a fun way to sneak in some pumpkin flavor which is also incorporated with the cheese and herbs to make it slightly milder. If you're also looking for a savory pumpkin recipe, then I think this could be your new go-to!
If you're looking for another savory fall recipe, we think you'll love our Garlic Butter Chicken Wings, or if you'd like to stay on the pumpkin recipe train, you'll be obsessed with our Pumpkin Martini which a lot of people have tried and loved!
Why You'll Love this Carbonara
- The pappardelle is a great pasta for the sauce. Thanks to the wider noodles, they pick up so much of the pumpkin carbonara sauce. This ensures every noodle twirl will be extra saucy!
- It's a fun fall twist on the traditional. While it may not be classic, the pumpkin and fall herbs make this such a fun carbonara variation. It's also such a great autumn savory recipe.
- It's ready in just 30 minutes! There's nothing like a comforting dinner that's ready in just half an hour, start to finish! This makes it a great weeknight recipe that can be put on the table super quickly.
Ingredients for this Pumpkin Carbonara
This pasta dish has a relatively short list of ingredients, and many of the classic carbonara staples. We also included some substitutions below if needed.
- Pancetta - You can also definitely use guanciale, but I typically have an easier time finding diced pancetta in the grocery store.
- Garlic - Just a little so it's not overpowering.
- Rosemary - Adds the best flavor to this pasta dish! I like using a lot, but if you like a milder rosemary flavor then I recommend just using 1 tablespoon instead of 2.
- Thyme - Also adds a great fall flavor! I like to reserve a little extra to also sprinkle on top of the finished dish.
- Pumpkin puree - A whole can is used in this recipe, and just make sure you get pure pumpkin puree with no other ingredients added to it.
- Salt - I recommend using less salt than you normally would in a recipe due to the saltiness of both the pancetta and the cheeses.
- Black pepper - Adds a great flavor with the pumpkin but you can also just use a little if you don't want it to be too spiced.
- Pappardelle - Holds the carbonara sauce so nicely, but any other long pasta shape could be substituted.
- Eggs - Essential for the silky carbonara sauce! The heat from the pasta and additional pasta water cooks the eggs.
- Egg yolk - An extra egg yolk adds some additional richness.
- Parmesan - Make sure to freshly grate the parmesan, and also make sure it is finely grated. I like to use a microplane to do this.
- Pecorino romano - Adds a little sharpness but if you don't have any pecorino romano then all parmesan can be used.
See recipe card below for quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
This is a fairly easy pasta recipe that comes together quickly using not too many kitchen items.
Step 1: Cook the pancetta. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook pancetta, stirring frequently, until fat renders and pancetta just begins to crisp, about 7-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If the pan is smoking, remove it from the heat for a minute so the garlic doesn't burn once added. If there is more than a tablespoon of grease in the pan remove any additional.
Step 2: Boil pasta water. Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
Step 3: Cook the herbs and pumpkin. To the same skillet set over low heat, add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme, sautéing for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the pumpkin puree to to the skillet, stirring until it is warmed through and slightly reduced, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and set aside.
Step 4: Cook the pasta. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until just al dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Step 5: Combine the carbonara ingredients. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, parmesan, and pecorino romano. Whisk in the reserved pumpkin puree (not added yet in the below photo).
Step 6: Add the pasta to the sauce. Drain the pasta, immediately add it to the large bowl, then toss quickly with tongs to combine everything. Immediately thin with hot pasta water as needed, stirring constantly until glossy.
Step 7: Plate the finished carbonara. Plate and top with pancetta, additional thyme, additional parmesan and enjoy!
Tips for Making this Pappardelle Carbonara
- It's very important to freshly grate the parmesan and pecorino romano, as pre-grated cheeses will not melt and incorporate into the carbonara sauce.
- I definitely recommend using a large bowl to combine the carbonara ingredients as this makes it much easier to toss everything together once you add the pappardelle. Since pappardelle is much larger than other long pasta shapes like spaghetti, the large bowl ensures the pasta can be tossed quickly to ensure a silky sauce.
- Also make sure to immediately add the pappardelle to the sauce ingredients once it's drained. You don't want to drain it then leave it in the pot for even a few minutes, as this will make it dry out and cool down making it much more difficult to create a smooth sauce!
Yes! I know it seems like carbonara recipes can sometimes be difficult to half because of the eggs, but for this version I would just recommend using 1 whole egg instead of 2. For the egg yolk, you can either use the shell to roughly divide the yolk in half, or alternatively it could just be omitted.
The pecorino romano can definitely be substituted for additional parmesan! I recommend trying to use a high quality parmesan in this recipe as it lends a big part to the flavor of the overall dish.
Not at all! The eggs work to create a silky smooth sauce, and they're cooked from the heat of the pasta and the pasta water. The flavors that do come through are the pancetta, pumpkin, herbs, and the cheeses of course!
Storing and Freezing
I definitely think carbonara is best served right away, but if you have leftovers they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. My favorite way to heat up leftover carbonara is to add it to a large skillet with a bit of water, and sauté it until it's hot and the sauce becomes silky again.
I don't recommend freezing this recipe.
If you make this recipe we would absolutely love if you left a star review and/or comment! Also, make sure to tag us on Instagram @doublethespoonfuls so we can see what you create.
Pappardelle Carbonara with Pumpkin
- 4 ounces pancetta diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1-2 tablespoons rosemary chopped, fresh
- 2 teaspoons thyme chopped, fresh
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 10-12 ounces pappardelle
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- ¾ cup parmesan freshly grated very finely
- ¼ cup pecorino romano freshly grated very finely
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook pancetta, stirring frequently, until fat renders and pancetta just begins to crisp, about 7-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If the pan is smoking, remove it from the heat for a minute so the garlic doesn't burn once added. If there is more than a tablespoon of grease in the pan remove any additional.4 ounces pancetta
- Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
- To the same skillet set over low heat, add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme, sautéing for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the pumpkin puree to to the skillet, stirring until it is warmed through and slightly reduced, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and set aside.1 clove garlic, 1-2 tablespoons rosemary, 2 teaspoons thyme, 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree, kosher salt, black pepper
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook until just al dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.10-12 ounces pappardelle
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, parmesan, and pecorino romano. Whisk in the reserved pumpkin puree.2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, ¾ cup parmesan, ¼ cup pecorino romano
- Drain the pasta, immediately add it to the large bowl, then toss quickly with tongs to combine everything. Immediately thin with hot pasta water as needed, stirring constantly until glossy.
- Plate and top with pancetta, additional thyme, additional parmesan and enjoy!