This creamy pumpkin pasta with fried sage, mascarpone, and Parmesan cheese is the ultimate fall comfort food dish. It’s easy to make and vegetarian too.


When it comes to pasta, I love it all, but cream sauces are my achilles heel. I’ve got so many saucy pasta recipes I love, like my roasted mushroom stroganoff, cacio e pepe, creamy lemon pasta with ham and peas, and shrimp pasta with sun-dried tomatoes. This pumpkin pasta is just the latest addition to my creamy pasta obsession, and it’s perfect for fall.

Like any squash, pumpkin lends itself so well to savory dishes and this pasta is proof. With its fine ridges and hollow core, rigatoni’s nooks and crannies are an excellent vehicle for this savory pumpkin sauce. Mascarpone cheese thickens the pumpkin sauce with the slightest undertone of heat coming from a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sage-infused brown butter provides the ultimate warm, earthy bite, with Parmesan cheese enriching the sauce with a nutty, cheesy edge.


What’s in This Pumpkin Pasta

This easy pumpkin pasta is full of savory fall flavors and aromatics. Here’s what you need to make it:

  • Rigatoni (or any other short pasta shape you like)
  • Butter
  • Fresh sage
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • White wine—nothing fancy, but one you would drink
  • Pasta water—starchy, salty water is an excellent thickener for the sauce
  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Parmesan cheese

How to Make Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce

This pasta comes together quickly and easily, with the sauce coming together in the time it takes to cook the noodles.

Cook your pasta. You know the drill, salt your water like the sea and cook it to al dente.

Fry your sage. Add your butter to a large saucepan. Once it has melted, add the sage and sauté until slightly crispy. Remove the sage using a slotted spoon and set aside where the leaves will crisp more as they dry.

Build your sauce base. Sauté the shallot, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in the reserved browned butter until the shallot softens. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and then stir in the pumpkin.

Make it creamy. Add reserved pasta water to thicken the sauce and stir in the mascarpone for a sweet cream flavor. Once the mascarpone has melted, add the pasta and Parmesan and stir well to coat the pasta in the sauce. Serve it up with crumbled sage and more freshly grated Parmesan on top.


What Does Pumpkin Sauce Taste Like

While pumpkin may typically be associated with sweet flavors, this pumpkin pasta leans very savory, thanks to garlic, shallot, and Parmesan. The pumpkin and mascarpone lend a hint of sweetness and all of the flavors play so well together. It is absolutely addicting.


What to Serve With Pumpkin Pasta


More Creamy, Cozy Pastas You’ll Love

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