Creamy pumpkin pasta sauce flavored with honey and thyme tossed with al dente linguini, crispy bacon and grated Parmesan cheese. Woah mama!
A while ago a few of my friends and I had a conversation about getting a toddler to eat vegetables. One friend mentioned that she had started pureeing pumpkin as a pasta sauce and that her very fussy little boy gobbled it all up. It was then that I remembered that I had been doing that for ages but not to get a fussy eater to eat their vegetables but simply because creamy pumpkin pasta sauce is just so dreamy. It’s also a great way to cheat your way to a creamy sauce without actually using any cream.
How do you make pumpkin sauce?
To get the most out of the pumpkin, I roasted it with a drizzle of honey and a few sprigs of fresh thyme until they were caramelized and sweet. I then pureed the little roasted pumpkin with a splash of milk until smooth and creamy. To add even more flavor to the sauce (and so that it’s not literally pasta in mushed pumpkin), I sautéed off an onion and a little garlic until soft and fragrant before adding the puree and a splash of stock.
This was simply warmed through and just before mixing with the pasta, I added a teaspoon of the bacon fat (because, uh, why the heck not?!) and a handful of finely grated Parmesan which melted into the sauce and added serious depth and flavour. Crispy bacon bits are stirred through at the end because BACON and also because its smoky, saltiness goes so well with the sweet, earthy pumpkin sauce. An easy, bloody delicious pasta with hidden vegetables even the fussiest of eaters will love? You’re welcome!
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Creamy pumpkin pasta with crispy bacon
for the pumpkin sauce
- 3 cups chopped pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- handful fresh thyme
- ½ cup milk
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic cloves finely chopped
- ½-1 cup chicken/vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon bacon fat reserved from the crispy bacon
- large handful grated parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- 500 g pasta cooked (I used linguini) (reserve 1 cup of cooking water)
- crispy bacon bits
- extra Parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and line a baking tray with foil.
- Combine the pumpkin, honey, salt and olive oil in a mixing bowl then transfer to the prepared baking tray. Add the thyme and place in the oven.
- Allow the pumpkin to roast for 30-45 minutes until starting to caramelize and cooked through.
- Remove from the oven, discard the thyme and transfer to a bowl then puree with an emersion blender. Add a splash of milk to make the blending a little easier.
- In a large frying pan, fry the onion and garlic until soft and translucent then add the pumpkin puree and stock. Allow to come to a simmer then stir in the bacon fat.
- Remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese. Season to taste.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and toss to coat well. At this stage you can add a little of the pasta's cooking water to loosen the sauce if necessary.
- Serve the pasta topped with crispy bacon and a grating of Parmesan cheese.
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It’s basically an eggless carbonara and everyone really liked it! I haven’t had pumpkin in a while, so I can’t tell how strong that flavor was, but everything was definitely delicious and well seasoned as-is. We used 1.5 sugar pie pumpkins to make a double batch and I’m interested to see how it’ll work with butternut squash as well. This is definitely a keeper. Thanks!
Kelly | Foodtasia
The pumpkin sauce looks so velvety and creamy! Adding the bacon is absolutely brilliant! Such a great combination of flavors!
Can you use pumpkin purée in place of fresh pumpkin? If so how much would you suggest.
You could, I haven’t tried it yet so can’t guarantee the end result will be the same but I can’t imagine it will be too different. I would suggest 1-1.5 cups of puree.
sue | theviewfromgreatisland
You’ve literally combined my two favorite foods into one epic dish — what’s not to love?
🙂 Good to know! It’s definitely a winner!