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I’ll start this off by pointing out something wrong with the picture: this sauce should really be served with fettucine or pappardelle, something wider and flatter than the spaghetti I had in the cupboard.  That said, this was a pleasant little surprise of a dinner. Let me set the stage: it’s the middle of my husband’s finals week, we haven’t grocery shopped in a month for real food (just baking supplies, and, yes, this is a slight exaggeration) and I am tired.  I am also hungry.  I know that I want mushrooms in my dinner and I have some pumpkin to use that I had set aside for ravioli.  At this point, ravioli-making was not an option, so I got creative.  I am sure this happens to other people, but when I accidentally invent a tasty dinner, I get really excited, and such was the case with this happy mistake.  It is a thick sauce, slightly nutty and with the flavors I love from a great squash soup; I am thinking about trying it next time in place of bechamel in a veggie lasagna.  And there will be a next time: it was a nice change from pesto, alfredo or marinara, our standard pasta sauces.

pasta with creamy pumpkin sauce

Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce (serves 4)

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced small
  • 1 T. fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 c. button, white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. fresh or dried chives, chopped
  • 1/4 c. chicken or veggie stock (white wine might work, too)
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese to garnish
  • 1/2 lb. cooked pasta with 1/2 c. cooking water reserved

In a skillet on medium, heat the olive oil and then saute the shallots for 3-5 mins., until softened.  Add sage to the pan and stir; add mushrooms and cook for 5 mins.; they should be softening but still fairly firm.  Add pumpkin, chives and stock and stir to combine.  Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 7-10 mins., stirring occasionally to prevent sticking/burning.  Add milk and cook only until mixture is warmed through; don’t allow sauce to boil.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Add drained pasta and cooking water, as needed, to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.  Serve with parmesan cheese as a garnish if you like.