Luscious silky pumpkin pasta sauce to make the most of this season iconic staple! Topped with crispy fried sage and almond dukkah this pasta dish is a perfect weeknight meal.
Autumn is here and so are the pumpkins! I’m sure that everyone is making good use of their sweet pumpkins. Here is another recipe, that you can add to your pumpkin recipe inventory! As pasta is my favourite, I decided to make this pumpkin pasta sauce. And now, it’s definitely one of my autumn/winter pasta favourites!
Making this pumpkin sauce is so effortless, even if you don’t have ready made pumpkin purée! All you need is to lightly roast the pumpkin together with a small white onion and garlic cloves, all covered in olive oil. Once done, purée everything together. However, don’t add any additional liquid and try to blend as little as possible, since the purée needs to be slightly thick and not soupy. Once done, transfer to a lightly warm pan together with some chili flakes and nutmeg. To loosen slightly the sauce, add about one or two tablespoons of the starchy pasta water. As soon as the pasta is ready, add it to the sauce, mix and let cook for a minute. Serve with some crispy sage leaves on top and a sprinkle of almond dukkah.
Crispy Fried Sage
Sage leaves are commonly paired with pumpkin and popularly included in several pasta dishes! Raw sage leaves tend to have a slight harsh and bitter taste, however once fried, this is all gone. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend eating them raw but rather crispy and fried or cooked in delicious brown butter! Check out my mushroom ravioli recipe to see how to make a mouthwatering sage brown butter sauce. Now, let’s get back to the fried sage! To make fried sage, all you need is a pan with a good layer of olive oil. Pop in the dry sage leaves and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Once done, transfer to a paper towel and season generously with flaky salt! I suggest that you cook a couple extra leaves as they are perfect to nibble on while cooking.
To give an added texture to my pasta dish I top it with a generous sprinkle of almond dukkah. Dukkah is a popular Egyptian condiment made from a mix of nuts, herbs and spices. Traditionally it is made with hazelnuts or a mix of nuts. In this case I used just almonds. Together with the almonds, I included paprika, sesame seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, pepper and salt. Although here I’m using it on top of my pasta, it is typically served as a dip with bread and oil. It is also incredibly tasty on hummus!
Other ways of serving! This pasta sauce as served in this recipe is vegan. However, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese definitely goes amazing here! Or a creamy burrata! If you want that extra protein or bite in your pasta, you can either add bacon, guanciale, crumbled italian pork sausage or mushrooms! Pumpkin goes so well with a lot of yummy ingredients thus making it an ideal base sauce.
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- 320 g rigatoni pasta or any other pasta shape
- 400 g pumpkin cubed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small white onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- sage leaves
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp nigella seeds
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- In a large pan roast the almonds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Let them cool.
- Once cool add all the ingredients together and crush in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. Store in an airtight container.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Add the cubed pumpkin, white onion and garlic to a tray and cover with olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is fork tender. Let cool before slightly blending to a thick paste. Set aside.
- For the fried sage, warm up some olive oil in a pan and gently lower in the sage leaves. Fry in the oil until crispy for about 1 minute on each side.
- In a large pot, cook the pasta until al dente in salted water according to the instructions on the package.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the pumpkin purée to a pan and heat up. Add the nutmeg and chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cook for a few minutes.
- Once the pasta is almost cooked, take 2 tablespoons of pasta water and add it to the sauce. Stir immediately. As soon as the pasta is cooked transfer it to the pan. Mix completely until all the pasta is covered in the pumpkin sauce.
- Serve immediately with a few leaves of fried sage and a sprinkle of almond dukkah. Enjoy!
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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