The Unusual Ingredient In Giada De Laurentiis' Carbonara Recipe

A classic pasta carbonara recipe is delightfully delicious in its simplicity. With just three main ingredients — pasta, eggs, and bacon — perfecting that authentic recipe might be more difficult than it seems (via The Kitchn). Creating the luscious sauce to cover the pasta might require a cooking hack from a favorite chef. While Giada De Laurentiis knows her way around the kitchen, she has recommended a twist on the classic carbonara recipe that might surprise some. More importantly, this unusual ingredient could ensure that a favorite fall ingredient in the pantry doesn't go to waste.

In a recent Instagram post, De Laurentiis shared that she used some pumpkin puree in her carbonara for Sunday supper. As seen in her recipe, the pumpkin puree and nutmeg add some fall flavors to the classic Italian dish (via Giadzy). The pumpkin puree is blended with chicken broth, egg, pecorino, and spices. Used to dress the pasta, the flavorful sauce is creamy, rich, and full of warm flavors. However, there's one key item to remember when using pumpkin puree in this carbonara recipe. There is a difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling. While this recipe has pumpkin and nutmeg, it is not a pumpkin pie pasta. It is a savory recipe, not a sweet one.

What are some other uses for leftover pumpkin puree?

While it can be good to have a well-stocked pantry, letting food go to waste by just sitting on the shelf is not beneficial. Although that deal on pumpkin puree seemed cost-effective at Thanksgiving, there might not be room at the table for a pumpkin pie at Easter. But, pumpkin puree isn't just for dessert recipes or that autumn latte. That pumpkin ingredient can be used in various savory dishes, too.

Cooking Light suggests 10 food ideas that incorporate pumpkin puree. From the obvious choices like pumpkin butter or a topping for oatmeal, a few savory recipes showcase the versatility of pumpkin. For example, using the pumpkin puree in Sloppy Joes can make for rich sauce and helps to keep the ground beef moist. Or, similar to the Giada De Laurentiis carbonara recipe, the pumpkin puree can be used in a variety of sauces. Just because an ingredient was purchased for one recipe doesn't mean that it cannot be used in other dishes. The pantry could be hiding all types of unusual ingredients that could add a spark to a tired old recipe.