This spaghetti carbonara with cream is the perfect quick comfort dinner. Silky, creamy sauce smothering angel hair noodles and everything brought together with smokey bacon. This version has the twist of roasted pumpkin just for an extra layer of comfort food. So good you'll be slurping noodles straight from the pan.
So, happy Halloween! I can barely believe that we're already the end of October! And let's be honest, we're already thinking about Christmas, aren't we? I know I am. Almost put on my Christmas socks today and thought it would be bad luck to do so before at least November.
But I just couldn't let Halloween pass by and not post a pumpkin recipe. I opted for a non-dessert recipe because, besides the obligatory pumpkin soups, I think maybe we can be at a bit of a loss of how else to use a pumpkin. So you can make this roasted pumpkin spaghetti carbonara with cream, or you can try this roasted pumpkin ravioli. You really should try both. They're scrumptious, comforting and absolutely cozy dinner satisfaction.
Okay. Let's just get this right out of the way now. I know that an authentic carbonara doesn't have cream. And I know that if you are Italian, or are a carbonara puritan, you think that I am an absolute charlatan, right now!
But, let me tell you why I'm gonna add a splash of cream to my carbonara. For one simple reason alone...
I love it with a splash of cream!
That's it. I just like it that way, and I'm pretty sure you will too. I'm all for puritanical recipes, but I'm also totally for cooking food that you want to eat and letting a recipe or a method inspire you to adapt something to your own tastes. That's just the beauty of cooking. One woman's caviar is another woman's spam! Or something like that anyway.
What exactly is a spaghetti carbonara, anyway?
I'm so glad you asked! Firstly, it's a classic Italian pasta dish with its origins a little on the obscure side. What we do know is that it's essentially a quick and simple pasta dish that originates from Rome. A basic recipe of hard cheese mixed with egg yolks (and in this case some cream!!!) tossed with steaming hot pasta. And bacon... always bacon.
The heat and steam from the pasta cook the egg yolks and melts the cheese and you end up with a luscious, silky affair that only takes about 10 minutes to pull together.
As I mentioned before, it's considered an offense of the highest order to add cream to a carbonara, but let's be honest, half of us love that rich sweetness that cream adds and the other half of us just want an extra insurance policy that we won't scramble the eggs when we add hot noodles to the pan! For most of us, I think it's both.
How do I cook spaghetti carbonara with cream?
I'm not a complete heretic when it comes to the particulars of carbonara. There are a couple of hard and fast rules that I follow.
- It's always made with eggs and or egg yolk. This recipe only uses yolk. (You can make these pavlovas with your leftover egg whites!)
- The pasta you should be using is spaghetti or angel hair. But, you can get away with fettuccini or bucatini if you're so inclined.
- The traditional cheese to use for carbonara is pecorino romano, but in all fairness, if you've got parmesan, then that's just perfect too! What we're looking for here is a hard cheese that's pungent and full of flavor, but also melts like a dream.
- OK. Let's talk bacon. I'm team smoked bacon all the way. Because the bacon in the UK is usually quite thinly sliced, I buy lardons that are already cut. BUT... the traditional meat for a carbonara is guanciale. I have found it extremely hard to find except for really good Italian delis. When it doubt, go bacon or go home!
- Cream!!! Perchance the most controversial carbonara ingredient ever. It's really not supposed to be in there. But like I said, I just love it with a hint of sweetness from the cream. It kinda makes the smokey bacon smokier and the cheesy feels just a little more cheesy. Oh. And the eggs don't scramble!
And for this version, it had to be all about that roasted pumpkin, didn't it? The only thing that should be standing between you and this extra warming and cozy carbonara, is possibly a trick or treat session.
So, get ready. Fork twirl in 4...3...2...
THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING AND COOKING ALONG WITH ME! IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE OR HAVE A QUESTION, I’D LOVE IT IF YOU LEFT A COMMENT AND A RATING. YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW ALONG ON PINTEREST, FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM TO SEE WHAT WE’RE EATING, PINNING AND A LITTLE BEHIND THE SCENES TOO!
Roasted Pumpkin Spaghetti Carbonara With Cream
- 1 lb (453.59 g) spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- 3 (3) free-range egg yolks
- 1 cup (100 g) grated parmesan
- ½ cup (125 g) pasta water
- 2 cloves (2 cloves) garlic, minced
- pinch of nutmeg
- ¼ cup (59.5 g) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) olive oil
- 1 (1) sprig rosemary, leaves picked
- 4 (4) sage leaves
- ½ (0.5) butternut squash, diced into ¼ inch cubes
- 1 (1) bunch tender stem or broccoli rabe
- 1 cup (28 g) smoked bacon or lardons
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and toss the butternut squash and the tender stem with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pick the needles of the sprig of rosemary and scatter over the tray. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes until the squash and broccoli are golden and well roasted.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining off. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, mix the grated parmesan, egg yolks, pinch of nutmeg and the heavy cream together.
- Heat a medium skillet over a medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once hot, add the bacon or lardons and garlic to the pan and cook until golden and crispy. Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup of the water and add the pasta to the pan with the bacon.
- Add the cheese and egg mixture tossing quickly to prevent scrambling. *The heavy cream helps prevent this too. Toss the pasta until the cheese melts and a silky sauce forms. This should only take a minute. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out slightly.
- Divide the pasta between 4 bowls and top with the pumpkin and broccoli. Serve with extra parmesan cheese.