Linguini with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

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


  1. 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.)
  2. 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.)
  3. 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!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Lindt chocolate giveaway! I used a random number generator and the winner is… Beth the Sailing Foodie!!







Congratulations, Beth! I’ll coordinate with you for the chocolate delivery.


27 Responses to “Linguini with Pumpkin Cream Sauce”

  1. #
    Sam @ The Second Lunch posted November 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    “Thank God it’s sweater season.” <—- Amen. Except for the whole 70 degree thing yesterday :) This looks lovely, I'm thinking that I might make something like this for lunch for work this week.

  2. #
    Vicky and Ruth posted November 2, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    What a fabulous recipe!! Pasta and pumpkin love that combination!

  3. #
    Honey What's Cooking posted November 2, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    this looks delicious, and I love how you didn’t use tons of butter and oil. Help me – is this better or your smoke gouda and Pumpkin Mac and Cheese? I wanna make one of those recipes this month.
    Also, what does smoked gouda taste like… I’m not a fan of brie, goat cheese, feta cheese, pecorino… basically anything “too pungent.” Please let me know.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted November 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Hmm they are both good! Personally I am partial to the mac and cheese, but it is also a lot more indulgent and involves more steps. Smoked gouda is not really pungent but it has a pretty strong taste – really smoky, almost like bacon. Try this pumpkin linguini to be safe, you won’t be disappointed!

  4. #
    Emily aka The Three Bite Rule posted November 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    This look so good! Pumpkin and pasta is so perfectly fall!

  5. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted November 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    This looks like an amazing fall classic! Definitely will be making this one evening soon :)

  6. #
    Megan posted November 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    This definitely looks rich and indulgent. If I hadn’t just eaten dinner, I probably would make this. I have everything for it in the house right now!

  7. #
    Molly Galler posted November 3, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    This is so perfectly fall and looks delicious! I just bought pumpkin and sage spaghetti at the Brookline Winter Farmer’s Market.

  8. #
    Sacha posted November 4, 2013 at 12:00 am

    I can’t say that I’m thanking God for sweater weather, because I know that sweater weather will quickly turn into down jacket weather, BUT I am ready for fall flavors like these :).

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted November 4, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Hahaha I know! It’s a fine line going from looking cute (sweaters and leggings) to looking like the marshmallow man (all my winter coats)!

  9. #
    Parita @ myinnershakti posted November 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Oh my goodness – this sounds delicious! I’ve been wanting to make more savory dishes with pumpkin and this looks like it would be a perfect fit. Making ASAP!

  10. #
    Michelle Lahey posted November 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    This looks delicious! I have a pumpkin mac and cheese recipe on my blog that I love this time of year. I use a little garam masala in it, which adds some exotic flavor that really complements the pumpkin (and cheese!).

  11. #
    grace posted November 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    you make pumpkin seem not so bad! :)

  12. #
    Meghan posted November 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing.

  13. #
    Joanne posted November 7, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Hi. Pumpkin addict here. I’ll have a HUGE BOWL of this!

  14. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted November 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

    This looks so creamy and delicious! Perfect for fall :)

  15. #
    Simply Life posted November 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    wowowow! this looks absolutely incredible! I would definitely order this in a restaurant!

  16. #
    Monet posted November 8, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Wow! This looks so good and indulgent and perfect for a cool fall night. Thank you so much for sharing. I love using pumpkin in sweet treats, but I don’t do near enough savory dishes with it!

  17. #
    The Squishy Monster posted November 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I need this pumpkin sauce in my life! I’m drooling over here =)

  18. #
    Liz posted November 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I think this may even surpass pumpkin pie as my favorite pumpkin dish! What a gorgeous pasta….it truly sounds amazing!

  19. #
    vanillasugarblog posted November 8, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    now this is definitely using pumpkin the best way possible.
    great idea!!

  20. #
    Emanuelle posted November 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    This dish looks as comforting as it gets! Yum!

  21. #
    maria at inredningsvis posted November 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    MMMM it looks SO DELISH:) I like your blog and Im now following.

    Check out my blog….Swedish decor and yummy recipies:)

    Have a wonderful week dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis – The Swedish home decor blog

  22. #
    Jenny @ BAKE posted November 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    this sounds incredible! my mouth is literally watering! I’m always on the look out for simple tomato free pasta recipes for midweek suppers which this sounds perfect for! I can’t wait to try it!

  23. #
    Risa posted January 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    This looks quite delicious. I made a similar dish with some Italian sausage and a pumpkin sauce and it took me by surprise. I think I automatically associate pumpkin with sweet food because I bake with it so much. This is a nice way to mix things up a little.


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