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White plate with fusilli pasta in a creamy pumpkin sauce. Crisp sage on top with a fork resting into pasta.

Creamy roast pumpkin pasta

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4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Emilie Pullar
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people
  • Diet: Vegetarian


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 (see notes on serving size)

800g pumpkin cut into bite size pieces, this should yield about 500g finished cut pieces

1 onion, cut into wedges

1 tbsp olive oil

40g butter

8 - 10 fresh sage leaves, optional

3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped or minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup vodka, optional

3/4 cup single or light cream

50g parmesan, finely grated

1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 celsius (350f) 
  2. Toss the pumpkin and onion pieces gently in a bowl with the olive oil, a good pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper.
  3. Arrange the pumpkin and onion 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).
  4. You might need to take the onion pieces out earlier so watch them closely.
  5. Pureé with a stick blender or in a food processor with 1/2 cup water. You should have about a cup.
  6. Cook your pasta in a pot of well salted boiling water. Reserve 1 or 2 cups of pasta water before draining.
  7. Melt the butter over medium heat and add the sage leaves if using.
  8. Cook, swirling the pan so the butter browns evenly. Remove the sage leaves when crisp and the butter is lightly browned. 
  9. Set the leaves aside on a paper hand towel and leave butter in pan.
  10. Add the garlic to the butter and sizzle for 30 seconds, moving it around the pan so it doesn't burn. Turn the heat down if you need.
  11. Add the tomato paste and let it gently sizzle for a 2 minutes, whisking it into the garlic and butter.
  12. Add the vodka if using and let it reduce for a minute or so.
  13. Lower heat and add the pumpkin mixture, cream and 1/2 cup pasta water and mix well. I like to use a flat whisk.
  14. Bring it to a really gently simmer here, it shouldn't be bubbling aggressively.
  15. Add the parmesan in a few lots, whisking and letting it melt between each addition.
  16. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and a good few cracks of black pepper.
  17. Add your pasta straight into the sauce and let it gently bubble away for a minute or so.
  18. Add more pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. This is quite a thick sauce so loosen as much as you need.
  19. Serve with extra parmesan, a good crack of black pepper and the crisp sage on top.


  • SERVING SIZE. I have put it as two servings but it could stretch to 4. I personally like pasta REALLY saucy but with some extra pasta water it can go a lot further.
  • Start the sauce when your pasta has been cooking for a couple of minutes then they should be ready at the same time and you can transfer the pasta straight into the sauce.
  • With most of my sauces I like to let the pasta bubble away in it to help 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
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired