If you’re ready to move on from the pumpkin spice latte but not entirely ready to abandon fall’s favorite squash just yet, this pumpkin carbonara is a must-try. This simple, 30-minute pasta dinner features whole-wheat noodles bathed in a creamy (but creamless!), nutrient-packed pumpkin sauce, topped with crispy pancetta and sage. Oh and Parmesan. Lots of Parmesan.
This pumpkin carbonara has quickly become a favorite around our house. Kids love it because it’s, well, pasta! “Orange spaghetti,” to be precise. Adults love it because of the pancetta-topped pasta but also because it’s packed with good-for-you nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamin A and other antioxidants.
The sauce comes together in an instant thanks to canned pumpkin puree, and an immersion blender makes cleanup quick and easy. If you’re looking to save time during the week, this sauce also can be made ahead of time! Just refrigerate or freeze the pumpkin sauce, and when you’re ready to eat it, reheat it in a saucepan while your pasta cooks.
Whatever you do, don’t skip the pancetta. The salt and texture it adds makes the dish, but bacon also makes a pretty good backup if you can’t find a thick slab of pancetta at the deli counter.