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Rigatoni alla Vodka with Pumpkin and Thyme (Vegan-Friendly)

Pumpkin alla Vodka Pasta

Pumpkin alla Vodka Pasta with golden mushrooms and ribbons of kale tossed in vegan vodka sauce. This healthy weeknight pasta recipe is perfect for easy fall dinners, and sure to become a family favorite.
Course Entree, Vegetarian
Cuisine Italian
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 467kcal


  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. freshy grated nutmeg
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup canned full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 1 lb. dry rigatoni pasta
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (stemmed and roughly chopped) (sub 4 cups fresh baby spinach)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish omit if making plant-based, or use nutritional yeast


  • Fill a large pot with water and heat over high. Season liberally with salt and bring to a boil while you prep other ingredients.
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion; cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg; cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Add tomato paste and stir to coat veggies. Continue to cook, stirring often, until paste is deep red and starting to brown on the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes. Add vodka to deglaze pan, stirring to scrape up browned bits of tomato paste. Cook 1 to 2 minutes to allow some of the alcohol to cook off.
  • Stir in pumpkin puree and coconut milk (or heavy cream); reduce heat to low.
  • Once pasta water is boiling, add pasta and cook until almost al dente. Add kale during final minute of cooking.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked pasta and kale to pan with vodka sauce. (Or, reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, and drain pasta and kale.)
    Stir in pasta cooking water in 1/2 cup increments until sauce turns smooth and glossy and coats pasta (I use 1 cup total). Stir in fresh thyme leaves and garnish with Parmesan, if desired. Season with additional salt, if needed.


Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop until warm.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 500mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g