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5 from 6 votes

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

This creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is made with pumpkin purée, pancetta, sage, parmesan, and heavy cream. Toss it with your favorite pasta for the perfect easy weeknight dinner. It is total fall comfort food.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 551kcal
Author: Brianna May


  • 4 ounces diced pancetta or bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped sage
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes*
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 shallot diced
  • cup white wine*
  • ¾ cup plain pumpkin purée*
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan reggiano plus more for serving
  • 8 ounces pasta plus about ½ cup pasta water*


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the pancetta for 7-8 minutes or until it is browned and the fat is rendered. While the sauce is cooking, prepare the pasta according to the package. Save at least ½ cup of pasta water.
  • Remove the pancetta (not the grease) from the skillet and place it on a plate with a paper towel. Set aside.
  • Turn the heat to medium and add the olive oil. Add the sage and fry for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
  • Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping any brown bits off the bottom. Reduce for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the pumpkin and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to low. Stir in the cream.
  • Add ½ cup of pasta water.
  • Stir until combined.
  • Add the pasta and finish cooking it in the sauce. Simmer until desired thickness. Top with the pancetta and more parmesan cheese.


  • Sage: To chop the sage, stack the leaves on top of each other. Cut them into long strips and then rotate the strips and chop into small squares. 
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Reduce to ¼ teaspoon or omit if you are sensitive to spice. 
  • White Wine: Use a dry citrusy white wine like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. 
  • Pumpkin: Check the back of the can to ensure the only ingredient is pumpkin. There should not be any spices or sugar. Pasta: Use any short cut pasta (like cavatappi, penne, or rigatoni), or a wider long pasta, like fettuccine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle.
  • Don’t overheat the cream. Be sure the heat is low when adding the cream. It can easily curdle if overheated. 
  • Salt the pasta water & don’t overcook. Be sure to heavily salt the water the pasta is boiled in. I also recommend cooking the pasta for about 1 minute less than the shortest time recommended on the package and finishing it in the sauce for about a minute.


Calories: 551kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 970mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g