Baked whole wheat pasta is tossed in a rich pumpkin tomato sauce with sautéed vegetables, creamy ricotta cheese and crispy sage. A decadently delicious entree that is sure to be a fall favorite!
I didn’t know it was possible to squeeze so many of my favorite things into one glorious dish. Hello, lover. I just love the depth of the flavor profile in this dish. The slight sweetness from the pumpkin combined with savory tomatoes, aromatic garlic and herbs, and tangy ricotta make for a total taste bud party.
The pumpkin and ricotta also make the sauce incredibly creamy and decadent without adding too much extra fat. The pumpkin flavor is quite mild, so you certainly will not feel like you’re eating pasta with pumpkin-pie filling. Even a pumpkin addict such as myself would not go to that extreme.
I’m thinking a game day or Halloween weekend recipe? Perhaps washed down with your favorite pumpkin beer? Let’s be as basic as possible together.
Speaking of Halloween, who else LOVES that it’s on a Saturday this year?! This only means we have more time to play around in the kitchen and make something fun, right? What are you guys making? I’d love some ideas for anything themed that involves peanut butter in some way, shape or form. Please share! I debated adding meat to this pasta, but actually enjoyed how “light” the dish remained without it. Though if you’re feeding your boyfriend, husband or any other meat-lover in your life (..guilty), adding ground turkey to the sauce would essentially turn it into a Bolognese which would be insanely delicious. You could also add pork, shredded chicken, short ribs (YES) or a side of meatballs (DOUBLE YES).
This Italian girl is always down for some meatballs. I also may have just drooled thinking about how good this pasta would be turned into a PIZZA. I might have to try it before autumn ends and pumpkin is no longer my #1 cooking ingredient. Who is coming over?!
- ⅔ lb whole wheat pasta of choice - I used Fusilli
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, divided
- 5 ounces of fresh baby spinach (1 whole bag)
- 5 ounces of baby bella mushrooms, sliced thin
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp fresh sage, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Toppings (optional): 6-7 additional leaves of sage, parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a large saute-pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and mushrooms and cook for ~3-4 minutes. Add garlic and spinach and cook down until spinach is wilted. Add pumpkin, diced tomatoes, chicken stock , ¼ cup of ricotta (reserve remainder) and sage. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until sauce slightly thickens.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Pour in pasta and cook till al dente. Drain water.
- Pour sauce into pot with pasta and toss to combine.
- Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour pasta into prepared pan. Spoon in dollops of remaining ricotta cheese throughout pasta. Rub sage leaves with olive oil and spread evenly over pasta. Sprinkle parmesan over the top (optional) and bake for 12 minutes, until ricotta melts. Serve!