This Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce will be on your table in 30 minutes. It’s the perfect fall meal with flavors of sausage and sage.
Here in Oregon, the rain is starting again, but the crisp leaves on the ground and pumpkins sitting outside all our neighbors’ houses just makes this season feel so warm and inviting.
And, as I’m staring out the window while writing this post, I’m reminded of just how much this creamy pumpkin pasta sauce tastes like fall.
It’s basically a comforting hug in a bowl… or a plate, depending on how you like to serve up your pasta. Sometimes you might just eat it straight out of the pot…
Regardless of how you choose to dish it up, I’m pretty sure that you’re going to instantly fall in love with this pumpkin pasta. It’s the best!
If you happen to have a pumpkin on hand, and extra time, you can definitely make a homemade pumpkin puree to use in this creamy pumpkin pasta sauce. But, I took the easy route and used canned pumpkin puree.
🌟 Why is this the BEST pumpkin pasta sauce?
- It’s rich and creamy and delicious.
- It’s laced with smoky, crispy little bits of sausage.
- It’ll be on your dinner table in under 30 minutes.
🛒 Pumpkin Pasta Sauce ingredients
- Olive Oil
- Italian Sausage – You can use mild or hot Italian sausage based on your taste preferences.
- Shallot + Garlic
- Dry White Wine – Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or Chardonnay are great options. If you prefer to cook without wine, simply add in a bit more chicken stock.
- Canned Pumpkin – You’ll want the unsweetened, pure pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie filling.
- Bone Broth – I like to make mine in the Instant Pot, or substitute store-bought chicken broth.
- Fresh Sage – About 4 to 6 sprigs sag
- Heavy Cream
- Nutmeg + Cinnamon
- Cayenne Pepper – Optional. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Salt + Pepper
- Rigatoni – Or your favorite pasta shape.
- Parmesan Cheese – Or, pecorino romano. Goat cheese would be delicious too!
📋 How to Make it
- Cook the pasta in boiling water to al dente. Reserve some pasta water before draining.
- Heat oil in a large skillet and brown the sausage.
- Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Saute garlic and shallot for 3-5 minutes, until translucent.
- Add wine to the pan and reduce by half, about 2 minutes.
- Add pumpkin, broth and 1 TBSP sage and stir to combine.
- Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream.
- Season the sauce with the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper, to taste.
- Simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken sauce.
- Add cooked pasta + toss to combine. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too thick.
I like to top this pasta off with some shavings of parmesan cheese to add a bit more of a nutty, umami note to the dish, along with fresh sage leaves to really boost the autumn flavors.
Feel free to use mild or hot Italian sausage, depending on whether you’re a fan of heat or not. And, of course, you could also make this creamy pumpkin pasta totally vegetarian by omitting the sausage entirely. Leaving the sausage out also makes it more appropriate as a side dish, potentially alongside your Thanksgiving turkey.
Want to add even more flavor? Swap out the raw garlic cloves and stir in some Roasted Garlic instead.
🍴 What to serve with it
🍷 Wine pairings for Pumpkin Pasta
That creamy pumpkin pasta sauce is just begging to be paired with a bright and mineral-driven wine. We need something to help cut through the richness of the dish, but a wine that won’t overpower it either.
- I paired this pumpkin pasta with a Pinot Gris from Alsace. It was the perfect wine to balance out the richness of this dish.
- It would also be amazing paired with a sparkling wine – try Prosecco or Cava.
- MORE —> wine pairings for pasta.
Did you try this creamy pumpkin pasta?
If you loved this Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
More pasta recipes:
More pumpkin recipes:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 shallot (minced)
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cup bone broth (or chicken broth)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves (divided (about 4 to 6 sprigs sage))
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 pound rigatoni (cooked to al dente, or other favorite pasta shape)
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (for serving)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain pasta, and set aside.
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and brown the sausage. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate and set aside. Add the garlic and shallot. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until translucent.
Add wine to the pan and reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin, broth and 1 Tablespoon sage and stir to combine. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan and gently toss to combine. Thin the pasta with a bit of the reserved pasta water as needed if it seems too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topped with parmesan and the remaining sage.
Calories: 1105kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 1270mg | Potassium: 862mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 14835IU | Vitamin C: 11.2mg | Calcium: 246mg | Iron: 4.5mg
This recipe was originally published in 2018. It was updated in 2022 to add new information. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy!