Spicy Pumpkin Sage Pasta

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I’ve been on a winter squash kick!  Can you tell?  Spaghetti squash, delicata squash, carnival squash, butternut squash…and now to the father of all winter squash, the pumpkin!  King of the Fall season, this giant orange squash is one of my favorite this time of year.  I’ll eat or drink anything that’s pumpkin flavored.  I can’t seem to get enough of it!

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pumpkin pasta sauce, savory pumpkin recipes, pumpkin recipes, vegetarian pumpkin, vegetarian recipes Once my giant orange pumpkin shipped from Melissa’s Produce, I knew I wanted to make a savory dish.  There are so many sweet, dessert pumpkin-themed recipes out there, I needed to do something different.  Something with salt.  Nothing goes better with those semi sweet winter squash that a hearty dash of sea salt!

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pumpkin pasta sauce, savory pumpkin recipes, pumpkin recipes, vegetarian pumpkin, vegetarian recipes My big pumpkin came in perfect cooking condition.  Melissa’s Produce recommends pumpkins that have a nice hard, thick and unblemished skin.  Plus ones that are perfectly orange in color – obviously really high in Vitamin A and beta carotene!  After a 50 minute roast in the oven, the flesh was soft, sweet and full of pumpkin flavor!  I actually found cooking the entire pumpkin really, really easy.   And a fresh pumpkin has a much better flavor and texture than the stuff in the can (though you’ll still find those in my pantry for emergency pumpkin cravings!).

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pumpkin pasta sauce, savory pumpkin recipes, pumpkin recipes, vegetarian pumpkin, vegetarian recipes After I scooped out the cooked flesh of the pumpkin, I added it in with a ton of savory (and yes salty) flavors to make one of my all time favorite Fall pasta dishes – Spicy Pumpkin Sage Pasta!  Onions, lots of garlic, thyme, sage and a touch of red pepper make this pasta sauce a unique and special seasonal treat.  I love the bright orange color of the sauce – it looks great plated on a big white serving dish for dinner parties.  And the flavors are perfect – especially the hint of heat in the background!

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pumpkin pasta sauce, savory pumpkin recipes, pumpkin recipes, vegetarian pumpkin, vegetarian recipes This is the perfect cozy Fall dinner.  Especially when your semi forcing you’re husband to watch Hocus Pocus with you for like the 3rd time this month!  Yes…he’s a good husband and thus I reward him with giant bowls of Spicy Pumpkin Sage Pasta!  He deserved it!  As do you – so whip this up and celebrate the season with a delectable pasta dish!

pumpkin pasta sauce, savory pumpkin recipes, pumpkin recipes, vegetarian pumpkin, vegetarian recipes Spicy Pumpkin Sage Pasta:
Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lb sugar baby pumpkin (or 2-3 cans pumpkin puree).  Cut pumpkin in half and clean and remove seeds and insides.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp sage, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white whine
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 pound silken tofu (optional, but a great way to add more protein)
  • 1/4 sour cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil.  Cook pasta according to directions and continue with the remaining recipe instructions.  Save some pasta water to thin out sauce later in the recipe.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.  Place pumpkin cut side down on a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 45-60 minutes or until thick skin is fork tender.  Set aside and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
  3. While pumpkin bakes, heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium high heat.  Add in onion, garlic, red pepper, thyme, sage, salt and pepper.  Sauté for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are starting to get soft and just slightly golden.
  4. Deglaze the plan with the white wine.  Cook vegetable mixture for another 2-3 minutes or until wine reduces slightly.
  5. Once pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and add into the pot with the onions and herbs.  Add in the silken tofu if using and some of the stock.  Add stock slowly, mashing and stirring the pumpkin as you go.  Use an immersion blender or food processor and blend/process pumpkin mixture until smooth.  Add more stock if you need to thin out sauce or until you reach the desired consistency.
  6. Lastly, stir in the sour cream and butter.  Taste and adjust for seasonings.
  7. Pour enough sauce to coat pasta – you may need additional pasta water or stock to thin it out to your desired consistency.  Serve with parmesan cheese shavings and extra red pepper if desired!

The ingredients in this post were provided free of charge from Melissa’s Produce.  Recipe created and developed by BeanAFoodie.  I did not receive any kickbacks or payments from featuring Melissa’s Produce in this post – just got to cook with delicious produce!

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