Do you ever get crazy in your kitchen? You know, when you try to make something different and you aren't really sure how it will taste? This Pumpkin Pasta is that crazy-kitchen moment for me. Guys, this recipe is fantastic! Creamy, savory, and pumpkin-y. Seriously, my kids loved it. My husband loved it. To me, getting the family seal of approval is the ultimate compliment. THE big test. Sure, I cook food all of the time and I think the recipes taste good. (The cook might be too close to the project. The cook may not be very humble.) But do they really taste great?
When you put Pumpkin Pasta on the table, and your family goes back for second (and third) helpings, you know you've created a special meal.
Pumpkin Pasta...absolutely one of our best recipes yet!
Pumpkin Mania has taken over the world, right!?
Yes, I am jumping in mouth first. Instead of going to sweet direction, I decided to experiment with the savory side of the pumpkin. Pumpkin Pasta. (When in doubt, get the pasta out.)
This recipe is so easy. Also, it is super fast. And did we mention it tastes amazing? The creamy pumpkin pasta sauce is rich without the heaviness of a typical creamy pasta sauce.
First, melt butter in a skillet. This gives the pumpkin a buttery smooth flavor, and you know how I have this love affair with butter. Then you stir in your pumpkin puree. (DO NOT USE PUMPKIN PIE MIX!) Be sure to read the back of the can. You are looking for PURE PUMPKIN. The only ingredient will be "pumpkin".
Then you simply stir a few seasonings and milk into the pumpkin pasta sauce. (We also used a little of the pasta water to thin out the sauce. The starches in the pasta water also help the pasta sauce cling to your bow tie pasta.)
Key seasoning: nutmeg. Use a little, or a lot, depending on your spice preference. It really gives the pumpkin a familiar flavor but it is not sweet. We kept the seasonings simple. Nutmeg, garlic powder, salt and pepper. That's it.
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From here you can call it done...or you can do what we did and add a few extra touches to your Pumpkin Pasta. We stirred in shredded Parmesan cheese and a handful of sliced fresh baby spinach.
Stir and simmer! Too easy right?
Last step? Pasta!!! I decided to use bow tie pasta. Why? They are big, cute, and really hold a lot of sauce. You could use anything you would like...spaghetti, rigatoni, penne...whatever you like.
Stir in the pasta until every noodle is well coated and then serve. (With more cheese, of course. 🙂 )
You get all of the indulgent pasta flavor and a huge save on calories! Pumpkin is a vegetable!!! This just might be the perfect pasta recipe ever.
- 1 15 oz can of pumpkin just pumpkin!
- 1 lb box bowtie pasta
- 1 ¾ cups milk we used 2%
- 4 TB salted butter
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
- ½ cup fresh baby spinach sliced into strips
- ¼ cup reserved pasta cooking water
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Cook pasta according to package directions with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook to al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the pumpkin, pasta water, nutmeg, remaining salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Gradually stir in the milk. Add the lemon juice, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan and spinach, stir frequently until cheese is melted.
- Stir in the prepared pasta, remove from heat and serve with additional Parmesan.
- Serve hot.