"John and I are purists with carbonara, but the holidays allow us this cheat: covering pasta ribbons with leftover pumpkin or butternut squash." —Rach


Credit: Christopher Testani

Recipe Summary test

Serves 4 to 6

I use both diced leftover cubes and puree for this dish. I also use the toasted seeds from the pumpkin (or sub a little chopped hazelnut). Again, if you don't have leftovers, canned pumpkin (not the pie filling!) or defrosted butternut puree and precut cubes work just as well.

This article originally appeared in our Holiday 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat a large deep skillet and add the EVOO, three turns of the pan, and pancetta. Cook until fat is rendered, 2 to 3 minutes, then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Stir in the shallots, garlic, and sage and season with pepper. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir in the pumpkin and reduce heat to low.

  • Salt the pasta water, add pasta, and cook for 1 minute less than the package directions. Scoop out 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water, then stir 1 cup of water into the puree. Turn off heat. Drain pasta. Toss cheeses, pasta, and 3/4 of the pancetta into pan with the pumpkin mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Add more pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce. Serve in shallow bowls and top with the remaining pancetta, parsley, and toasted pumpkin seeds or hazelnuts, if using.