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Penne with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

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Canned pumpkin puree isn't only good for pie; here, it becomes a creamy sauce for penne, topped with deliciously crunchy fried rosemary.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, November 2007

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces penne rigate (ridged), or other short pasta
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 2 cups pasta water; drain pasta and set aside.

  2. In pasta pot, heat oil over medium. Add rosemary and fry, stirring, until starting to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rosemary to a paper towel, leaving oil in pot.

  3. Carefully (oil is hot and will spatter) add pumpkin puree, garlic, half-and-half, Parmesan, vinegar, red-pepper flakes, and 1 cup reserved pasta water to pot. Stir sauce until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Add pasta to sauce, and toss to coat. If sauce is too thick, add some reserved pasta water. Season generously with salt. Serve pasta sprinkled with fried rosemary and, if desired, more red-pepper flakes.

Cook's Notes

Frying rosemary in olive oil not only turns the herb into a crispy garnish -- it also infuses the oil to create a tasty base for the pumpkin sauce.

Reviews Add a comment

  • acw2173
    31 OCT, 2014
    Just made this and it was pretty good. Instead of using canned pumpkin, I roasted a small pumpkin and pureed 15 oz of it with 1 cup of veggie stock (I omitted the reserved pasta water and sub. stock), added 1 onion with the rosemary and sauteed with garlic, sour cream instead of half and half. I still had pumpkin left over, so I cubed that up and threw that in as well and feel the onion and pumpkin cubes gave it substance. Also, to prevent curdling, I added the sour cream right before the pasta.
    Reply
  • acw2173
    31 OCT, 2014
    Just made this and it was pretty good. Instead of using canned pumpkin, I roasted a small pumpkin and pureed 15 oz of it with 1 cup of veggie stock (I omitted the reserved pasta water and sub. stock), added 1 onion with the rosemary and sauteed with garlic, sour cream instead of half and half. I still had pumpkin left over, so I cubed that up and threw that in as well and feel the onion and pumpkin cubes gave it substance. Also, to prevent curdling, I added the sour cream right before the pasta.
    Reply
  • Ejtickle
    27 OCT, 2014
    This was a good base, especially the toasted Rosemary, however I used chicken broth instead of pasta water , added 4 oz of cream cheese, and toasted fresh parsley with the Rosemary. I also used a lot more Rosemary maybe 3x as much because everyone was really liking that touch.
    Reply
  • Tracy Juby-Graham
    1 DEC, 2013
    This was really bad. I made it tonight and it had no taste no matter what I added to it. I think this recipe has cured me from ever wanting to make anything with pumpkin again..
    Reply
  • Mtlbound
    26 NOV, 2013
    Very bland - so disappointing! The best part was the rosemary but even that couldn't save this recipe. Too bad, I had high hopes!
    Reply
  • Sarah McDew
    10 NOV, 2013
    I loved this pasta! It's very easy and delicious. I'd recommend cooking the pasta 1 or 2 minutes shy of the box's recommended cooking time since the pasta will cook when you add it to the sauce. Otherwise, I followed the directions and enjoyed the result.
    Reply
  • Robin and Freddie Collins
    28 OCT, 2013
    I thought this recipe was great and so unique! Make it your own! I added garlic salt and more cream ( and water) to make the sauce thinner. I also added more parmesan and vinegar and added some sugar as well. Such a refreshing new recipe to use thats different than just a plain old marinara or cream sauce.
    Reply
  • Tiffany Manning
    25 JUN, 2013
    I found this recipe because I was looking for something to do with my cans of pumpkin and coconut milk. Ended up using gluten free rice noodles, coconut milk instead of half n half, skipped the red pepper flakes and vinegar, and added mixed veggies. It was amazing!
    Reply
  • Tiffany Manning
    25 JUN, 2013
    I found this recipe because I was looking for something to do with my cans of pumpkin and coconut milk. Ended up using gluten free rice noodles, coconut milk instead of half n half, skipped the red pepper flakes and added mixed veggies. It was amazing!
    Reply
  • MS12502125
    28 NOV, 2011
    Yuck. Neither my husband nor I liked it much. The garlic ruined it and the rest tasted just bland. Won't be making this again.
    Reply