I love how food can reflect the seasons and this creamy pumpkin pasta is all about Autumnal cosiness. A creamy base with lightly charred roast pumpkin mixed in. The sauce is flavoured with garlic, sage, tomato paste and lots of parmesan. It is a super decadent and cosy dish.
Creamy Roast Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
I am writing up this delicious creamy pumpkin pasta sauce that I made on a bit of a whim the other night. Even though we are in Spring here in New Zealand, so many of you are in Autumn and I really felt like a cosy and comforting dish. I would make this any time of the year! It starts with some garlic and fresh sage then it becomes a creamy parmesany sauce with the roasted pumpkin added in.
Pumpkin - use whatever variety roasts well, they are called different things in different countries!
Sage - Please use fresh herbs if you can, dried really won't give the same flavour.
Cream - I use single cream in this recipe as the pumpkin makes it quite thick. This sauce definitely needs the pasta water to help thin it out.
Lemon juice - I always suggest using fresh lemon juice in my recipes, it can't be beat!
Why do I need to roast the pumpkin first?
I know in other countries pumpkin puree ready bought is really popular but it isn't a thing here in New Zealand. I have always roasted my pumpkin for dishes like this. Yes it takes much longer but I promise you it's worth it. Roasting anything brings out so much more flavour and naturally helps the caramelisation, enhancing it's sweetness. I like to roast it long enough so that the edges are charred, it adds a wonderful depth of flavour. In most pumpkin pasta recipes, the sauce is pureed before mixing with the pasta but I like this to be a bit chunkier. I use a wooden spoon to mash about half the pieces into the sauce while keeping the other half mostly whole.
Why pasta water is your best friend!
You'll hear me harp on about the magic that is pasta water in 99% of my recipes. It really is a key ingredient in every sauce I make. The starch left behind in the water acts as a thickening agent and helps sauces cling to the pasta. I couldn't make a sauce without it. I never EVER drain my pasta in a colander, I always transfer it directly to the sauce using a spider strainer. That way the pasta pot full of water is left there for you to ladle in as you need. if you have seen my reels on instagram you'll notice my sauces are SAUCY. Pasta soaks up liquid so quickly so I add enough pasta water to make it quite liquidy. By the time I serve into bowls and take to the table it hasn't dried up. You'll get to know what the right consistency is with some practice, you can't go wrong though I promise!
What pasta is best for this sauce?
I think the beauty of most of my sauces is that they mostly work with any shape! I have used a homemade orecchiette which I totally recommend you make, it is a great combo. Any shape fresh or dried will be perfect though!
Made this recipe and loved it?
I would love love LOVE if you could leave me a review down below and let me know what you thought! I love to hear any changes or adaptions you have made too. Also if you put a photo on instagram, please tag me so I can see, it makes my day!Print
Creamy roast pumpkin pasta
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 people
A creamy roast pumpkin pasta sauce flavoured with garlic, sage and lots of parmesan. A decadent and moreish pasta sauce you will love.
200g dried pasta or 300g fresh pasta
500g pumpkin cut into bite size pieces, please note this is the finished weight of the cut pieces you need. I started with a piece about 800g (with the skin, seeds etc)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped or minced
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tsp tomato paste
¾ cup cream (not double cream)
50g parmesan, very finely grated with a microplane or star side of box grater
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
3 - 4 slices prosciutto
Knob of butter
- Preheat your oven to 180 celsius (350f) fan bake.
- Fry the prosciutto slices in a knob of butter until crisp and set aside.
- Toss the pumpkin pieces in a bowl with the olive oil, a good pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper.
- Arrange the pumpkin pieces on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast in the oven for 40 - 50 mins until lightly charred (see the pictures above).
- Cook your pasta in a pot of well salted boiling water. When you start the sauce depends on what pasta you are using. The sauce takes about 5 mins to make so if using fresh pasta you'll add it after you start the sauce.
- Melt the butter over medium heat and add the garlic and sage.
- Gently sizzle for a few mins, moving the garlic around so it doesn't brown. Turn the heat down if you need.
- Add the tomato paste and let it gently sizzle for a minute, whisking it into the garlic mixture.
- Lower your heat slightly and add the cream, whisking to incorporate.
- Add the parmesan in a few lots, whisking and letting it melt between each addition.
- Add the pumpkin pieces and use a wooden spoon to gently smoosh (that's a very technical term!) the pieces into the cream. You don't want to fully mash them in, I like having chunks of the pumpkin in the finished sauce.
- Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and a good few cracks of black pepper.
- When the pasta is almost done add ½ cup pasta water into the sauce and mix.
- Add your pasta straight into the sauce and let it gently bubble away for a minute or so.
- Add more pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
- Serve with extra parmesan, a good crack of black pepper and the crisp prosciutto crumbled over the top.
- The more you make pasta the more you will get used to cooking it and the sauce simultaneously. I work out how long the pasta will take and how long the sauce will take then work out what needs to be started first. In this case I know my orecchiette will only take a couple of minutes to cook so I have a pot of boiling water going and add the pasta to it when I am adding the cream to the sauce. If you get the sauce done too quick and the pasta isn't ready then just lower the heat right down until it's ready. If it thickens up too much then all you need is a splash of pasta water to loosen it.
- With most of my sauces I like to let the pasta bubble away in it to help thicken the sauce and coat the pasta. If you are using dried pasta then undercook it slightly so it doesn't overcook in the sauce.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
I made this while I was in surgical recovery and only allowed to eat soft foods. Well soft foods with a heap of punch to your taste buds are hard to come by but boy this did not disappoint. The sauce for this was so bloody good that I decided the very next day to make it again but add stock and turn it into a soup. The entire family loved the sauce and the soup and it'll be a easy go to from now on.
Emilie Pullar says
Hi Sky, I hope that you have recovered! So glad this meal was a comfort to you in that time 🙂
This recipe was simple to follow and truly wonderful! Pumpkin is a favorite of mine and this recipe uses it beautifully by balancing all of the flavors together. Highly recommend giving this one a try; you will not be disappointed.
Emilie Pullar says
Hi Austin, so glad you enjoyed thank you so much for making! 🙂
Holy wow was this delicious! It's a new fave, and everything worked sooo well together.
Emilie Pullar says
Yay so glad you enjoyed!! X
I was looking for a easy mid week meal and I am so glad I found this one. Thank you!