Pumpkin’s Pasta

prepared by and photo by Emily S. Downs

Pumpkin is most definitely one of the most under-used squashes in the kitchen. Sure there is pumpkin pie… pumpkin bread… but how about serving it in a big bowl of pasta? Combined with fresh sage, Parmesan and bacon, you can’t go wrong. Delicious and smokey,  hearty and festive during the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays.

Size: serves 4-6

8 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1 onion, peeled, cut into 1/2" dice
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt, plus more for cooking water
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 two-pound pumpkin, such as 'Cheese' or 'Small Sugar Pie', peeled, cut into 3/4" cubes
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken stock
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 lb rigatoni
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp hulled pumpkin seed (pepitas)


Cook bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is almost crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels; set aside.

Add onion, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add pumpkin, sage, and allspice; cook, stirring frequently, until pumpkin is coated with bacon fat, about 5 minutes.

Add stock; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in cream; gently simmer until pumpkin is soft and sauce has slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water; add the rigatoni and cook until tender. Drain the pasta.

Add cooked pasta and bacon to skillet, stir gently to combine. Divide pasta among serving bowl. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds.

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Author: Emily Sarah Downs

Cuisine Coordinator, Tips From Town, Ridgewood, NJ


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