Recipe by: Sam Florio, @quartersoulcrisis

I say this Pumpkin Carbonara is gluten free because I am using favorite gluten free pasta, Banza Penne. This pasta dish could work with any pasta you choose, but I love the protein Banza offers that the typical pasta doesn’t! I created this recipe because I wanted a really warm, creamy pasta recipe. Pumpkin offers such a creaminess and a bit of sweetness that makes such a delicious fall dinner.

I ALSO used my absolute favorite bacon. The Nature’s Ranchers products are all nitrite and nitrate free. They have no added sugar. They just taste so good. You by no means have to go with an applewood smoked bacon in this recipe, but I knew the smokey flavor and hint of apple would be an awesome match.

This recipe takes less than thirty minutes, and still looks sophisticated enough for a beautiful family dinner or even a Thanksgiving side dish. Don’t let carbonara scare you. If you have everything prepped and ready & move quick during assembly, it will come together perfectly.

Where you would normally add egg yolk and cheese, I add a cup of pumpkin puree and less eggs than the average carbonara recipe. I also added a small sprinkle of cinnamon. There is something about that sprinkle of cinnamon that just rounds out this dish. The cinnamon makes it warmer, and paired with salt, black pepper and rosemary it just creates the best, creamy, pumpkin flavor.

If you are going to add this to your Friendsgiving or Thanskgiving menu, or just make this for meal prep during the holiday season, PLEASE comment! And let me know what you think. Tag  me on social media or comment here. I love seeing my recipe creations on your feeds.

Penne Pumpkin Carbonara
Serves 4
  1. 1lb Banza Penne Pasta (2 boxes)
  2. Salt
  3. 7 slices of Nature's Rancher bacon
  4. 2 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  5. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  6. 2 egg yolks
  7. 1 small pinch cinnamon (less than 1/8 tsp)
  8. 1 spring fresh rosemary
  9. 1tbs chopped fresh rosemary
  1. Place a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Heat LARGE skillet on medium-low for bacon, about 3 minutes. Lay bacon slices on hot pan.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk cheese, pumpkin puree, egg yolks together. Season with salt and black pepper, small pinch cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Render most of the fat from the bacon, but don’t fully crisp it. We are going to finish cooking right before the pasta is finished. Remove bacon slices, place on double lined paper towel and remove pan from heat.
  5. Pour ¾ of bacon fat out of skillet (leaving about 1-2tbs in the skillet).
  6. Pour pasta into boiling pot of water and cook based on directions from the box.
  7. While pasta is cooking, crumple or cut up cooled bacon.
  8. With three-four minutes mins left on pasta, heat pan again on low. Add crumbled bacon and sprig of rosemary to finish cooking.**
  9. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining cooked pasta. Drain pasta.
  10. Remove sprig of rosemary from bacon.
  11. Add drained pasta to pan with bacon.
  12. Pour 1 cup reserved water over pasta, and then add pumpkin mixture. Toss quickly, slowly cooking the yolks and making a very creamy sauce. Make sure all of the cheese is melted (there will be no more visible cheese pieces). Remove pan from heat.
  13. Serve immediately with chopped fresh rosemary, more cheese if you’d like, and black pepper!
  1. **We are going to make the sauce and finish the pasta in the skillet. If your skillet can’t fit a whole pound of pasta + sauce, that’s OKAY. Use a large mixing bowl and a little bit less reserved pasta water (1/2 cup – 3/4 cup) and add more as needed to get your sauce creamy and cheese melted.
Nature's Rancher