Ahhh, pasta with creamy, cheesy, pumpkin sauce.
Like my famous Smoked Gouda and Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (by famous I mean it is popular on Pinterest and Facebook, which are like the cornerstones of greatness, right?), I know that coating pasta in a rich, creamy, autumnal sauce is always good idea.
Earlier during the Fall, I did a round-up of my best pumpkin and butternut squash recipes, and when I wrote that I was already thinking of making another comforting bowl of pasta.
I had it all planned out in my head: I’ll use a whole can of pumpkin, Greek yogurt, crispy sage, bacon, and maybe even goat cheese. Crispy sage is wonderful – all aromatic and peppery. And bacon – well, I don’t need to convince you guys about bacon.
But that pasta in my head was not meant to be, because I keep forgetting to buy the ingredients in the grocery store. (What I mean is I keep forgetting to buy sage, since I pretty much have all the other ingredients permanently stocked in my kitchen.) Somehow I keep getting distracted, or I’ll forget to consult my grocery list, or I’ll stay up late watching the World Series and be all out of sorts the next day (Go Sox!!!) Finally, I decided to just make do with what I already have at home. And make do with even less.
The pasta dish I came up with only needs a few ingredients: whole wheat linguini, pumpkin puree, heavy cream (I bet plain Greek yogurt will work, too), garlic, a little butter, a little olive oil, salt, pepper, plus a pinch of red pepper flakes for some heat.
Each bite tastes really indulgent. The pumpkin sauce was creamy and velvety, almost like an Alfredo sauce. I loved that the whole dish came together in about 20 minutes, including prepping (and picture taking). No need for crispy sage nor bacon. No need for the extra tang from goat cheese. Next time, I might add grilled chicken or even shrimp, and serve this with a side of roasted veggies.
Linguini may not be as popular as mac and cheese, but this is as creamy and as comforting as it gets. Thank God it’s sweater season.
Linguini with Pumpkin Cream Sauce
10 oz whole wheat linguini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of chili pepper flakes
- Cook pasta according to package directions. (You can set aside about a quarter cup of the pasta water if you want to loosen the sauce, but I prefer a thicker sauce so I didn't need this.)
- In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add butter and garlic, and cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili pepper flakes and pumpkin puree and stir sauce until heated, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in cream, and cook for another minute. Add cheese, and season with salt and pepper. (You can also add the reserved pasta water, if you're using it.)
- Transfer pasta to the pan and toss until sauce coats linguini evenly. Serve with more cheese, fresh ground pepper, and chili pepper flakes.
Do you have a favorite pasta recipe with pumpkin? Share with me in the comments!
Congratulations, Beth! I’ll coordinate with you for the chocolate delivery.