Pumpkin Carbonara with Paccheri

This image courtesy of Lucy Schaeffer

Paccheri alla carbonara It would be difficult to improve on that magical combination of simple ingredients in classic carbonara, but this version just might sway your loyalties. Sweet caramelized onions and squash take the place of pancetta, adding an autumnal note plus even more creaminess. When the weather turns cool, you're sure to find yourself making this again and again. If you like, you can plate this chubby tube pasta upright, what they call "on their feet," in piedi in Italy.

NotesRegion: Central and southern Italy


Cooking MethodSauteeing



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Type of DishPasta


  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups (230g) diced, seeded and peeled kabocha or butternut squash
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Pecorino or other aged cheese
  • 1 pound (445g) paccheri or any short thick pasta, preferably Garofalo


  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil and cook the onions until they are very soft, about 8 minutes. Raise the heat to high and continue cooking until the onions are golden and caramelized, about 4 more minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.

  2. In the same pan, add another 1 or 2 tablespoons and fry the squash until tender and golden at the edges, about 8 minutes. Return the onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.

  3. In a large serving bowl, beat the yolks with pepper and 2 heaping tablespoons grated cheese.

  4. Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and toss in the egg mixture, stirring until creamy, then stir in the hot onion-squash mixture. Serve topped with grated or shaved cheese.


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