Hi friends. How are you holding up this week of this year? I mean… what a question. I’m staying steady these days. Minding my own business until I need to not.
Gosh. I’ve been meaning to tell you – this is a pumpkin blog now. I’d apologize but I’m zero percent sorry for this Cajun Pumpkin Cream Pie or these Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars.
Because I’m basically wrapping myself in pumpkin this month (yes, I’ve already roasted my decorative Halloween gourds) I found myself with two open half-cans of pumpkin puree in the refrigerator and a hankering for dinner, not dessert.
It turns out that pumpkin puree makes a very fine replacement to tomatoes for a pasta marinara sauce. And honestly, aside from chopping garlic, this sauce is just about as easy as opening a can of jarred pasta sauce. There are so many adaptations and substitutions possible in this recipe, it’s meant to feel good to you and be enjoyed on the couch with your feet kicked up like it’s a regular ol’ Friday not in 2020.
Take good care of yourself this weekend. Let there be plenty of pasta.
Here’s what you’ll need for the most comforting pumpkin pasta dinner:
• garlic and olive oil, a fine base for flavor.
• pumpkin puree, canned or homemade.
• chopped fresh herbs. I used sage and thyme, though oregano would also be delicious.
• spices like ground coriander, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of nutmeg. Warming and grounding spices to accent the sweetness of pumpkin. You can add more spice to taste, of course.
• chicken or vegetable stock to thin the sauce and simmer.
• boiled pasta. I used linguini but whatever you like is what you should use!
• toppings like browned Italian sausage, crumbled goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and fresh parsley really fill out the bowl but feel free to use absolutely any variation of meat (or meat alternative), cheese, and nut crunch you have on hand.
In a medium saucepan heat oil over medium-low heat.
Add the garlic and cook gently until softened – 5 minutes or so.
Add the pumpkin puree and fresh herbs. Stir until warmed through and fragrant.
Add the spices and stock.
Stir and simmer until the sauce feels like a good pasta consistency.
See? Just about as simple as opening a jar of tomato sauce, don’t you think?
Add you al denta pasta and toss until evenly coated. Add a splash more broth if you think you need it.
Top with well-browned sausage, goat cheese crumbles, pine nuts and parsley. Of course you can also swirl all of the toppings into the pasta.
It’s generous in its comfort. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!
Photos with the delightful Jon Melendez.Print
Pumpkin Pasta Dinner with sausage and goat cheese
A fall alternative to tomato marinara sauce. Flavored with earthy sage and thyme and topped with any kind of sausage or sausage alternative, goat cheese (or parmesan would be delicious), and toasted pine nuts (though hazelnuts would be delicious too!).
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 15-ounce can pumpkin puree or a scant 2 cups of pumpkin puree
- A few fresh sage leaves and a few sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- A good pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2–2 cups chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Serve with 1 pound al dente linguini pasta, or any cooked pasta you like
- Well-browned ground Italian sausage
- Goat cheese crumbles
- Toasted pine nuts
- Red pepper flakes
- To make the sauce, in a medium saucepan heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook gently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and chopped herbs.
- Increase heat to medium and add all of the spices. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until thickened to your desired sauce consistency. Add more stock as you see fit. Taste and season with salt and pepper (and even more spices) to your taste.
- Toss boiled pasta in the warm sauce. To serve, top with sausage or sausage alternative, goat cheese crumbled (or parmesan), toasted pine nuts (or any kind of crunch) and chopped parsley.
I’m wondering if I can make this recipe next time with a different winter squash–acorn? Butternut? Kabocha? Family’s not crazy about pumpkin. Thanks, Joy!
Joy the Baker
Oh absolutely Deborah! I think this pasta would be great with any squash puree. I absolutely love both butternut and Kabocha for this pasta!
This was so tasty!
This is the most amazing food I have ever had!
Made this for the whole fam tonight and everyone loved it. I even turned it vegan for my son by using veg broth instead of chicken and skipping the sausage and cheese on his. Everyone raved about it. Thank you
I just wanted to tell you that after 12 years as a vegetarian, I chose this recipe for my first full ‘meat’ meal, and it did not disappoint! I’ve been easing in with bites here and there, but this was the first time I cooked meat and ate a full meal featuring it… amazing combo of flavors- rich and comforting for fall. We made fresh pasta too. Thank you!
I normally make risotto with these ingredients, I’ll definitely try pasta!
very creative ingredients, thank you, pumpkin and got cheese crumbles, love it, thank you
LOIS M BARON
I’m thinking that if I had chicken stock and skip the pasta, this would be a good soup. I bought your magazine because I love your blog :-) You rock, girl!
Unrelated – but kinda related – to pumpkin, I snagged your magazine at my local grocery store in British Columbia. (I also pulled the rest of the copies to the front shelf for best display opportunity. #sorrynotsorry) Very excited to bake these goodies!
This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to offer my family something savory and new.
great idea, but seriously, FIVE MINUTES for the garlic???
Yes ma’am! But it’s a lower heat. Do what feels best for you!
Happening tonight! Thank you for getting me out of my COVID cooking rut…well, at least for a day.
Dear Joy, I saw your holiday magazine at the checkout of my Central Market store in Texas! Beautiful, fun, exciting. Congratulations. And you, too, take good care of yourself this weekend. This pasta may just be the ticket. Cheers.