Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce (AKA Inside-Out Pumpkin Ravioli)

Inside-Out Pumpkin Ravioli garnished with Pepitas
I make this pasta sauce when I need to satisfy a craving for some really creamy, cheesy pasta while keeping it healthy. It may sound odd, but the pumpkin flavor is surprisingly mild; the sauce tastes mostly of the classic flavors of Parmesan and garlic. I shared this recipe with Glutenless Goddess, who is far more talented than I am at coming up with catchy names. She dubbed it "Inside Out Pumpkin Ravioli".

The tweaks:

Mixing pumpkin puree with milk makes a deliciously creamy, smooth sauce that tastes rich and cheesy before you even add the parm. There is nothing more satisfying than taking a bite of penne and warm, creamy sauce oozes out of the center. As an optional garnish, some pan-toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are lovely.

The goods:

This is one of the easiest pasta sauce on the planet to make. It is also one of the only creamy pasta dishes in which the sauce is made out of a vegetable! Serve it with whole wheat pasta and pat yourself on the back for making such a healthy, creative meal.

Pumpkin Cream Sauce
1 t olive oil or cooking spray
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups lowfat milk
1/2 t Italian seasoning

salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
sprinkle of smoked paprika (optional)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

serve with about 12-16 whole wheat pasta, cooked

While your pasta is cooking, in a saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil or cooking spray. Add all remaining ingredients except Parmesan. Bring to a simmer. Add more milk or water to thin if necessary. It should reach the consistency of a cream sauce. Remove from heat and stir in Parm. To serve, pour over pasta.


  1. I need this in my life!! it sounds amazing. hubby is skeptical about the pumpkin though :( and have you ever tried chicken or shrimp in this?

  2. Yeah, unfortunately my hubby is skeptical of the pumpkin as well. :( I usually save it for a girl's night. I haven't tried putting meat in it because I think it works really well the way it is, but I'm sure chicken would be yummy.

  3. I made this a week ago and it was delicious. (I forget the little tweaks we made, or I'd mention them here.) You're right that the pumpkin is surprisingly subtle. Not a bad thing, but makes me think about how one might be able to bring it out a little more. Either way, it helps give the dish a little "healthy" cred, which is important when you're making pasta and cream sauce! heh