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"My husband, John's, favorite thing in the world is carbonara," says Rach. "If it's his birthday, he's having carbonara. If he's performing in a concert, he's having carbonara. Whatever the occasion, he's having carbonara!" So, for Oprah's Favorite Things episode, Rach decided to make John's favorite dish, but with a seasonal twist. She adds pureed pumpkin, and saffron, to the sauce and tosses the pasta with roasted pumpkin, too. It's the perfect fall dish. And if you like pumpkin as much as John likes carbonara, serve these Pumpkin Dolce Bars by Milk Bar's Christina Tosi for dessert! 


  • 2 small orange squash or 1 large
  • EVOO non-aerosol spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (about ¼ teaspoon)
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth or stock
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • About 1/3 pound/6 ounces small dice guanciale, pancetta or meaty bacon
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • About ¾ cup white wine
  • 1 pound pasta: chitarra or bucatini for long, saffron gnocchi sardi (Rach likes malloreddus by Sfoglini) or rigatoni or paccheri for short-cut
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 ounce/¾ cup each loosely packed finely grated pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve


Serves: 4


Preheat oven to 425°F.    

Heat a large pot of water for pasta.   

Seed half the squash, spray and season, then place cut-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet. Peel and small-dice (about ¼ to ½ inch) the remainder, spray and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then place on the opposite side of tray. Roast about 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and the small pieces are a little brown at edges. Cool the large pieces of squash and scoop the flesh from the shell and puree until smooth.   

Warm chicken bone broth and saffron to bloom at low simmer in small pot or pan.  

Heat a large skillet with EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium heat and render the pork until crisp at edges. Add shallots and stir, add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir, then add wine and reduce by half. Add saffron stock and pumpkin puree and combine. Cover to keep warm and remove from heat.         

Porcelain Enamel 12-Inch Nonstick Skillet

Porcelain Enamel 12-Inch Nonstick Skillet

Rachael Ray

Salt boiling water and cook pasta 1 to 2 minutes less than directions. Whisk 1 cup of starchy, salty water into egg yolks to temper them, then whisk in cheeses and add to pumpkin.   

Remove pasta from water or strain and combine with sauce and the egg and cheese mixture. Serve immediately with a little chopped flat-leaf parsley.