Sweet potato carbonara is a take on your traditional Roman carbonara - just with delicious sweet potato and bacon bits.
We start by baking sweet potato pieces and streaky bacon in the oven. This will keep it nice and crispy and be less messy than on the stove. Mix together egg and finely shaved parmesan, and then once you’ve cooked your pasta, mix through pasta to make a thick and glossy sauce. Add sweet potato and bacon bits for a delicious and hearty dinner.
What is carbonara sauce made of?
Carbonara sauce is traditionally made by mixing together egg (or if you are keeping it very traditional, egg yolk) and finely grated parmigiana reggiano, and served with guanciale - very fatty cured pork. Legend has it this pasta dish was served to couriers who had to deliver messages between roman kingdoms, as it would keep them full of energy all day long. And yes, it certainly has a dense calorie count, but it's also delicious and 100% worth it.
What ingredients do you need when making this Sweet Potato Carbonara?
This Sweet Potato carbonara uses only a few choice ingredients to make a delicious and rich dinner.
Pasta - spaghetti or a thicker long spaghetti like bucatini is great.
Sauce - eggs, finely grated parmesan cheese, black pepper
Toppings - streaky bacon, sweet potato pieces and green onion.
What is the golden rule of cooking carbonara?
The biggest tip when cooking carbonara is to not cook the egg sauce over too high a heat. You only need to use the residual heat in the pasta (and pasta pot) to heat the egg, so it turns into an egg custard and then a glossy sauce.
If you are worried the heat is too low, or you have left it too long between draining your pasta and adding your sauce, you can always put it over a low heat, but always try first with no heat. You can't uncook scrambled eggs!
Should there be cream in Carbonara?
No - traditional carbonara is not made with cream. The eggs instead make a thick yellow sauce that seems like it might have cream in it, but it doesn't. You can make a creamy pasta dish like this Salmon Pasta Alfredo if you want a creamy pasta sauce.
Top tips when making Spaghetti Carbonara
Two tips when making Spaghetti Carbonara.
- You can always temper the egg mixture by adding a dash of hot pasta water to it before mixing through the pasta.
- Use block parmesan and grate it yourself if you can - pre-grated parmesan has anti-coagulants that mess with the texture of the sauce. You can also grate more finely than pre-grated.
- Gluten-free - use GF pasta.
- Dairy-free - use dairy free shredded parmesan.
- This is a perfectly kid-friendly dinner.
You will need an oven grill, a baking tray, a pot, a stovetop.
More Pasta Recipes
- Oven grill
- Baking tray
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 sweet potato medium
- ½ bunch spring onion
- 200 g streaky bacon
- 5 eggs
- 120 g parmesan 140 g total for the recipe
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 350 g spaghetti or bucatini
- 2 tablespoon pasta water
- 20 g parmesan 140 g total for the recipe
- Preheat your oven to 200 C and prepare a large baking tray.
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.1 tablespoon salt
- Peel and chop sweet potato into 2 cm cubes. Trim spring onions and slice into 3 cm slices. Slice bacon into 1 cm slices. Place everything on the baking tray and place in the oven for 16 minutes (set a timer).½ bunch spring onion, 200 g streaky bacon, 1 sweet potato
- Crack eggs into a bowl. Finely grate in parmesan. Season with pepper and mix well (option to skip the pepper for kids). It should look like a thick yellow sauce.5 eggs, 120 g parmesan, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Once the water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente according to packet instructions.350 g spaghetti
- After 16 mins in the oven, remove the tray and mix everything. Turn on your grill and place the tray under it for 3 mins to crisp up, then remove.
- Once the pasta is ready, scoop out a cup of pasta water, then drain. Return pasta to the pot over low heat. Add sweet potato, green onions and most of the bacon (reserve a few pieces to serve).1 sweet potato, ½ bunch spring onion
- Mix a spoonful of pasta water into the egg mixture and mix. Remove the pasta pot from heat and pour in the egg mixture, stirring continuously. The egg will become a thick sauce in the residual heat of the pasta. If not thickening, place over low heat.2 tablespoon pasta water
- Use tongs and a ladle to spin your pasta into nests and serve in bowls, topped with reserved bacon and parmesan.Small kids may prefer pasta sliced up.20 g parmesan