Why I love this pumpkin pasta recipe
What better way to further you pumpkin addiction that a savory pasta dish. If you’ve never tried pumpkin in a savory way, this is definitely the way to do it.
It pairs really well with the fennel flavors in the Italian sausage, and it makes a great sauce because it creates a creamy, flavorful sauce.
This pumpkin pasta recipe only takes 30 minutes.
This pumpkin pasta is actually a new spin on a super old recipe I published a few years back. That one used butternut squash that had been roasted and pureed rather than pumpkin, but times have changed and I just don’t have the time to prep meals like I used to.
Personally, I think a can of pumpkin works even better anyway. By making this one simple swap, I’ve managed to take a recipe that should take almost an hour and cut the time in half.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
How to make pumpkin pasta with Italian sausage
To make the sauce, you’ll need to use a decent amount of pasta water. That means you need to take some out before draining the cooked pasta. I do this by sinking a liquid measuring cup into the pot – and hoping I don’t get any pasta.
A mug would work really well, too, but you can also ladle some into a bowl or measuring cup. Always, always reserve more water than you need, maybe even double if you can. It’s better to have extra than not enough. I added about 1 1/4 cup of pasta water to my sauce for the pumpkin rigatoni.
FAQs and tips on making this pumpkin pasta recipe
I used a shallot in this recipe because they have a really unique flavor that you can’t replicate. You can easily swap an onion. I would suggest using a sweet onion because it’s going to be the closest match to the shallots. If you haven’t tried using shallots before, definitely give it a try though if you can.
A pumpkin is a squash and as such it will taste similar to other fall/winter squashes or some even would say it tastes similar to a sweet potato.
More fall pasta recipes you will love
- Sweet Potato Pasta with Cilantro Tahini Sauce
- Spicy miso pasta
- Jerk shrimp pasta
- Caramelized shallot pasta
- 1 16-ounce package rigatoni
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 8-ounce bag fresh spinach
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions for al dente – reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta water for sauce before draining.
- In a large skillet, brown Italian sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it into pieces as it cooks, about 8 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to a plate and set aside.
- Add olive oil to pan and sauté shallot, garlic and crushed red pepper, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly golden, about 3 minutes.
- Add spinach to pan and wilt, stirring occasionally. If needed, reduce heat to low until pasta is ready.
- Return heat to medium-high. Add pumpkin puree, sage and salt & pepper. Slowly stir in pasta water, about 1/2 cup at a time, until sauce has reached desired consistency. Return sausage to pan and toss with pasta, adding extra pasta water if needed.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Rigatoni
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Pumpkin pasta with italian sausage, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin recipe, fall pasta, pumpkin rigatoni, pasta with pumpkin sauce, pumpkin sauce