What we love about this roasted tomato and pumpkin pasta sauce
The sauce is the perfect bridge between summer and fall. The sauce is complex from the robust pumpkin and roasted tomato flavors (and that roasted garlic, too!).
This can be served as comforting weeknight dinner but it is also quite impressive to serve for guests. It is both indulgent and heartwarming, plus it is relatively simple to prepare.
This sauce can absolutely be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container until ready to use. In fact, it makes enough for 3 pounds of pasta, which makes it perfect for make-ahead meal prep.
Make sure to reserve some of your pasta water, this always helps marry the sauce to the pasta.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
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Ingredients you might need to pick up
- Tomatoes – Fresh grape or vine ripe tomatoes would be our recommendation for this recipe, but feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand. We used a combination of the two – leftover from Melissa’s attempt at a summer garden.
- Pumpkin puree – We used canned pumpkin for this because we haven’t gotten any pumpkins yet this year, but if you have homemade puree that will work great, too.
- Garlic – You will need a whole head of fresh garlic to be roasted for this recipe.
How to make this roasted tomato sauce with pumpkin
Roast the tomatoes and garlic. Preheat oven to 400°F. On a parchment lined sheet pan, arrange tomatoes and a head of garlic. If tomatoes are on the larger size, cut them half and leave small ones whole. Slice of the top of the garlic head and place the cut side down.
Blend the sauce. Once the tomatoes and garlic are roasted, transfer them to a high speed blender (you’ll want to squish the garlic out of the head and discard the peel). Make sure to transfer and juices and olive oil, too.
Add in a can of pumpkin puree, a little basil, parsley and salt & pepper, and blend until smooth. Before transferring to a storage container, adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, to taste.
This sauce recipe makes 6 cups of sauce, so you’re going to have extra even if you’re using the sauce right away. Use what you need and store the rest for up to 1 week (or freeze for later).
Toss with pasta. Cook your pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining. Then, toss the pasta with the sauce, adding water as needed.
Serve with your favorite grated cheese. Our favorite is pecorino romano!
Everything you need to know about tomato and pumpkin pasta sauce
You shouldn’t have to worry about thickening this tomato sauce, thanks to the pumpkin. Simply incorporating the pumpkin puree, which is naturally thick, will result in a rich and velvety pasta sauce, requiring no extra cooking adjustments or techniques.
Yes, pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin refer to the same product. Canned pumpkin is simply just pumpkin puree that has been cooked, pureed, and then canned for convenience purposes. It is made from pureed pumpkin without any additional ingredients. Just make sure that you’re not using pumpkin pie filling, which contains added sugar and spices.
One is not necessarily better than the other, it really comes down to convenience or preference. Some people prefer the texture of freshly pureed pumpkin – if you are one of those people we say go for it. Canned pumpkin puree has a consistent texture and flavor and is available year round – plus it is shelf stable for quite a while, so it’s a reliable ingredient.
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- 1 sheet pan of tomatoes (grape and vine), about 2.5 – 3 pounds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head garlic, top cut off
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 – 3 teaspoons coarse salt (depends on flavor)
- Preheat oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange tomatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place garlic cut-side-down into olive oil. Season the tomatoes liberally with salt & pepper.
- Roast tomatoes and garlic for about 30 minutes, or until tomatoes are browned on top and garlic has softened.
- Remove from oven and transfer tomatoes to a high speed blender (along with any accumulated juice). Squeeze garlic cloves from head into blender, and add remaining ingredients.
- Blend until smooth and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, to taste.
- Transfer to storage containers and store until ready to use.
Recipe makes 6 cups of sauce. You will need about 2 cups for each pound of pasta you cook.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 – 30 minutes
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
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