Spaghetti with Swede and Bacon

Swede or rutabage is overlooked and underused, so I chose it as vegetable of the week for the GFGF group. It is a must in our house to serve it as Swede mash (with salami-style sausage) at least once a year. But swede is more than mash, for example pasta always works like this comforting

Spaghetti with Swede and Bacon

Spaghetti with Swede and Bacon

Really delicious. I hope I can convince Donna, Ellen, Kayte, Margaret, Nancy and Peggy to use this vegetable. The taste of rutabaga is a bit like turnip, mildly peppery, earthy, a tiny bit bitter and a tiny bit sweet. The classic combination in Northern Germany is swede, potatoes and/or carrots.

Spaghetti with Swede and Bacon

Yield: 3 servings

Spaghetti with Swede and Bacon

Spaghetti with Swede and Bacon is budget-friendly and a twist on the classic carbonara. Seasonal swede, local bacon and plenty of parmesan. This a comforting lunch, the 3rd serving I took to work and enjoyed as lunch at work


  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil,
  • 250 grams swede , peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 1 onion , peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 40 grams parmesan , grated, plus extra to serve
  • 300 grams spaghetti
  • 120 grams diced bacon, smoked
  • 2 thyme sprigs , leaves picked, plus extra to serve


modified by from:
Good Food magazine, March 2018


  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. 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.

total time: 50 minutes
preparation time: 15 minutes
cooking/bakin time: 30 minutes

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more recipes with swede
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8 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Swede and Bacon

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  2. Kayte

    This looks great and I will try it! It was fun discovering a new vegetable this week, thank you for picking it. Your recipe looks so delicious and beautifully photographed.

  3. Pingback: Good Friends Good Food: Rutabaga | Tea and Scones

  4. Barbara

    Wieder was gelernt – Steckrübe. Die gibt’s bei uns inzwischen auch ab und zu zu kaufen. Hatte ich sogar mal in einem Gasthaus in der Fränkischen Schweiz; auf fränkisch heißt das Forschen.


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