Spaghetti with pancetta and cheese in bowls with cutlery

Swede & pancetta spaghetti

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 3

Try this budget-friendly twist on the classic carbonara with seasonal swede, pancetta and plenty of parmesan. Need a comforting simple supper? This is it

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal663
  • fat27g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs78g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre7g
  • protein24g
  • salt1.4g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 250g swede, peeled and chopped into small chunks
    Two slices of swede



    A member of the cabbage family, the swede is often confused with the turnip, though they look…

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 40g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 300g spaghetti
  • 120g diced pancetta (smoked if you can get it)



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then add the swede, onion and garlic and fry for 5 mins. Cover with a lid and cook for a further 10-15 mins, stirring so it doesn’t stick, until the swede is completely soft. Set aside to cool, then blitz in a food processor or mash with the parmesan and a large pinch of seasoning. Add a splash of water to loosen the sauce.

  2. Cook the pasta in salted water for 1 min less than pack instructions, reserving a little of the cooking water. Meanwhile, use the frying pan you used for the sauce to fry the pancetta until crisp, around 5 mins. Add the thyme and fry for 1 min, then tip into the sauce.

  3. Using tongs, transfer the pasta to the sauce, add the reserved water, and give everything a good toss around the pan, so the pasta is well coated in the sauce. Season, then split between bowls, top with more parmesan and a big grind of black pepper to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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20th Mar, 2018
Although this takes slightly longer to make than a more traditional carbonara, it certainly is a winner and is definitely worth the effort. Plus who can argue with hidden veggies. It was absolutely delicious and made for an excellent packed lunch the following day.
18th Mar, 2018
I cooked this for my young family and they loved it! We all agreed it was similar to a carbonara with less fat. I think any recipe that sneaks in extra veg is’s a keeper!
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