First and foremost, happy birthday to my little brother who is 20 today! Oh my god I can’t believe I just wrote that, I didn’t realize he would be out of his teens this year. Sheesh. Imagine how I’ll feel when my little sister, who is 9 years younger than me, gets to be in her twenties. Talk about a mind-fuck. Unfortunately, I can’t be around to celebrate with him today but he and I will be attending a Third Eye Blind concert on June 16 (one of our favorite bands) and you can bet I’ll also be baking him a cake when I get home (probably pound cake since he is obsessed with it right now – keep in mind this is the boy who has the metabolism of a horse, he could eat Tex-Mex and Chinese food every day and not gain an ounce. Trust me, he’s tried it.). My brother and I shared a room for our entire lives, so suffice it to say I couldn’t live without him – hope you have a great day Daniel!

Now, however, I have some very solemn news for you. I have made my last batch of Pappardelle’s Pasta. It was hard parting with it, but it had to be done. The flavor for this one was…wait for it….wait for it….SWEET POTATO PAPPARDELLE. That is right, you didn’t think the sweet potato queen was going to leave for her vacation in a week without leaving you with some sweet potatoes to savor, did you? Trying to figure out what to make with this pasta was hard, very hard, probably because I was so partial to it. I could have gone in so many directions and had ideas continuously running through my mind – I could have done some sort of tequila lime cilantro cream sauce, some kind of pesto, some kind of alfredo, or a simple garlic and oil.

But no. It struck me (eventually) that something that goes really well with sweet potatoes is bacon. The intense salt of the bacon combined with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes is every sweet/savory lover’s dream. Therefore, the obvious recourse was to make a carbonara sauce, which is something that I’ve never had before let alone made (my parents are kind of skittish about raw eggs). So who did I turn to, none other than the meat and potatoes man himself – Mr. Tyler Florence! I got this recipe from the Food Network’s website and so it’s slightly different from the one in his cookbook. I changed it by using turkey bacon instead of pancetta, adding broccoli for some color and volume and vitamin C, adding in some cream to the egg/parmesan sauce, and tempering the egg mixture with 3/4 cup of pasta water before mixing it with the pasta to avoid scrambling. Trust me, if you make this you will want to add some pasta water otherwise there will not be enough sauce to go around! The bacon and broccoli were so good with the sweet potato pasta and creamy sauce. I will definitely be making this again (albeit with regular pasta) and will maybe even try the recipe from his cookbook for comparison.

I am submitting this to Tyler Florence Fridays as well as to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by kitchenetta of Got No Milk (a favorite blog of mine).

Sweet Potato Carbonara
Serves 4, adapted from Tyler Florence

1 lb sweet potato pappardelle (or any other stringy pasta)
1/4 lb extra lean turkey bacon, cut into small pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb broccoli
2 eggs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup half and half
salt and pepper to taste

1. Start boiling the pasta water before anything. Then, set up the broccoli to steam.

2. Heat a non-stick pan, spraying with some PAM olive oil spray (or just use some olive oil). Saute the turkey bacon until crisp. This takes longer than regular bacon for some reason. Once it is crisp, add in the garlic and saute for 1 min. When the broccoli is done, add that as well.

3. While the bacon cooks, in a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, parmesan cheese, and half and half. Once the pasta water boils, slowly add some of it to this mixture, stirring all the while so that the eggs don’t scramble. Add in some black pepper.

4. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, toss it with the broccoli, bacon, and garlic mixture. Slowly pour in the sauce, attempting to stir while you do this. From all the pasta water you just added, scrambling really shouldn’t be a problem so don’t worry too much. Really, stirring it is much easier said than done.


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22 Responses to Sweet Potato Carbonara

  1. Natashya says:

    Sounds wonderful! Hmmm, I wonder if I can make sweet potato pasta in my pasta roller….

  2. That sounds so good, and easy to make too!

    I haven’t made that type of sauce either, but I’m putting that one on my to-do list for sure!

    Thanks for posting!

  3. Denise says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. This looks incredible….

  4. Pam says:

    I like the addition of broccoli.

  5. burpandslurp says:

    dear sweet potato queen…
    I worship thee. please gimme a bite of that wonderful sweet potato pasta…

  6. kitchenetta says:

    Boy does this ever look good. Thanks for submitting to PPN, and I’m trying this one, for sure!

  7. Reeni? says:

    I bet this was just over-the-top delicious! I love salty bacon with sweet taters and butternut squash. A pair made in heaven.

  8. Donna-FFW says:

    Yes, who else but Tyler to turn to? This is a culinary score. Sounds fantastic with the bacon, and happy bday to your brother!

    You certainly are the sweet potato queen!

  9. ttfn300 says:

    omg that sounds fabulous!!! and i want some of that sweet potato carbonara 🙂

  10. Kim says:

    I’m glad to hear that you and your brother are so close. It gives me hope for my two kiddos! I bet this was a great dish for you since you love the sweet potato. I think you chose the perfect sauce to top your pasta!!

  11. Ruth says:

    What a great combination. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  12. Jeff says:

    Eek!! Nothing makes me feel old than my younger brother gaining a year. Heck next year he will be 30. Plus added to the fact he is the responsible married one I really feel old.

    Everything goes with bacon! I love the idea of sweet potato pappardelle because pappardelle is one of my favorite pasta and sweet potatoes are one of my favorite tubers.

    Nicely done!

  13. Joanne says:

    Natashya – I think you can and SHOULD! I asked my parents for a pasta roller for my brother’s birthday. They weren’t too keen on that idea.

    Jenn – It was definitely worth trying, kind of like alfredo but not, and the way I made it isn’t as bad for you as you would think.

    Denise – No problem, I can’t wait to see more of your recipes!

    Pam – You know I’m always good for some greens.

    burpandslurp – I may be the sweet potato queen, but you are the kabocha queen for SURE. Together we can take over the world…

    kitchenetta – Thanks for hosting, I can’t wait for the round-up!

    Reeni – It was super-delish, you’re right – a great combo.

    Donna – Tyler is good for so many things, eye candy being one of the most prominent. Thanks for stopping by!

    ttfn – I still have some leftovers if you want!

    Kim – Thanks a lot! My brother and I fought a ton growing up but we eventually matured and are now really close, I’m sure your kids will be as well!

    Ruth – Thanks a lot!

    Jeff – It’s not about how old you ARE, it’s about how old you FEEL. Numbers are irrelevant. I’m beginning to agree with you on the bacon. I haven’t had it in a while but now I have some leftover and I’m putting it on everything. Pappardelle is excellent as well. I’m really digging the stringy pastas lately.

  14. Debinhawaii says:

    Of course the Sweet Potato Queen would have to have some sweet potato pasta to post! It looks and sounds delicious with the turkey bacon lightening it up. Yum!

  15. Joanne says:

    Deb – You know it! For my first try at carbonara, it was really good. I will definitely be trying some variations on this.

  16. Megan says:

    Cowabunga ~ you win first prize for creativity! I’ve never had sweet potato pasta, but it sure looks great!

  17. Jenny says:

    Sounds like a nice combination. Love the idea of the sweet potato pasta.

  18. ARLENE says:

    Looks beautiful and sounds delish.

  19. sweet potato pasta sounds good. happy birthday to your brother! 🙂

  20. What a pretty dish! How creative of you! Bravo!!

  21. Joanne says:

    Megan – It smelled more like sweet potato than it tasted but it’s hard to say. I’d have to do a side-by-side taste test comparison. Thanks for the comment!

    Jenny – I loved it as well, definitely something to try once I get that pasta maker.

    Arlene – Thanks!

    somethingsweetbykaren – I will let him know. Thanks!

    cantbelieveweate – It WAS pretty. Part of the allure of the sweet potato pasta was its color.

  22. Graziana says:

    I really love carbonara, but I never tried it with broccoli… looks like a great idea!

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