My mission – to show that pumpkin can be used in savory as well as sweet dishes. I was inspired when I saw jars of pumpkin pasta sauce. Of course I did not buy the sauce that wouldn’t be the “Eat Like No One Else” way. I looked to the back for the ingredient list. I took down the ingredients in order and came up with this recipe (without the modified food starch of course).
I started off with homemade pumpkin puree. When you take the time to cook a pumpkin yourself you are awarded in the end – in flavor and pumpkin seeds to roast. Any regular Pie Pumpkin will do. If you can get yours hand on a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin even better. It is an heirloom variety known for making the best pies. I thought it would also work well in this savory dish. It bring a sweetness to the party that I balanced out with a good amount of freshly ground white pepper. White pepper brings the bite without making it look like my sauce is full of black specks.
Like any good sauce it begins with a roux. A roux make sauce thickening a snap. No worries about lumps and it thickens fast. Making a roux is as simple as melting butter, beating in some flour, and then adding liquid that you boil to thicken in a manner of minutes.
The sauce can be served over any type of pasta you like. I used bowties, but I really felt it was better with penne. Also you might try ziti, elbows, even ravoli would all be excellent choices. Maybe find a Halloween themed pasta pasta!
UPDATE – When I first made this recipe, it was good but a bit too rich on the pumpkin flavor. It was hard to eat very much of it at once, definitely not more than a small side dish. I made it again in 2013. This time I added more liquid, which of course made more sauce. This time it was perfect. It wasn’t screaming out to me this has pumpkin in it, instead the pumpkin complimented all the other flavors in the sauce. I also wanted to say that the pepper really makes the dish, so don’t skip out. The bite of the pepper is the perfect compliment to the sweetness the pumpkin brings.
I also want to share that my 2, almost 3 year old daughter loved this pasta. She ate it like it was mac & cheese. The color of the pumpkin makes it look like regular old mac & cheese. The best part is that she is getting some veggies in her body. I am very happy about that!
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage chopped
- freshly ground white pepper and kosher salt to taste
The sauce begins with a roux. Melt the butter over medium heat.
Then add the flour. Whisk together and cook until the flour has cooked.
Cook the roux until it has taken on a nice tan color, but don't let it get too dark.
Add the chicken stock and the milk.
Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for one minute.
Add the pumpkin puree and cheese. Return to a boil and then simmer until desire thickness. If it is too thick, then add a little bit of water at a time until right.
Remove from heat. Stir in some fresh chopped sage. Add kosher salt and paper to taste.
Recipe NotesThe time to takes depends a lot on the moisture level in your pumpkin puree. Homemade puree can vary depending on the type of pumpkin, the size, and how long you cooked it.