One of the great things we love here about fall is pumpkins. Really we love a lot of things about fall so it is hard to say just one thing. Pumpkin pasta sauce is one those things!
We used to buy a pumpkin pasta sauce from the store every fall. It would sell out fast so you had to catch it when they had it. It was good but a little too sweet, one family member didn't like it as much so we created our own!
Last year we stopped buying it because it was harder to get and again one family member started to really not like the jarred sauce that much. We also started getting away from jarred sauces and making all homemade like our homemade lasagna sauce or creamy vodka sauce. This set me out on a mission - to create a better pumpkin sauce!
Please note that as written this is not vegetarian but it can easily be made vegetarian by substituting the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
Now I didn't want it to be too creamy since that was part of the problem he had with the jarred stuff (and the sweet seasonings they used.) I also didn't want to add extra sugar either. I got it perfect now - not too sweet and not too thick but not too thin. Everybody in the family has told me a couple times that it is much better then the jarred stuff. Success 🙂
What makes this sauce so different?
It is not a full on pumpkin flavor with sweet seasonings. Tomatoes are the main ingredient with pumpkin being the second main ingredient so there is a nice hint of pumpkin and plenty to be healthy.
Broth and no dairy helps to keep it from being too thick and creamy, but it is still thick enough. We love dairy products here, but I think the pumpkin sauce was a bit much with dairy in it. And lastly, we do not add any extra sugar. I say extra because peppers have sugar in them. We also use fresh pumpkin puree, but you can use canned.
Ready for delicious?
How to make the pumpkin pasta sauce
This is an easy sauce to make and you will have it ready in less then an hour. If you would like to add meat, you can add some to it as well. We added sweet sausage but I cooked the sausage separate and added it just before serving.
Heat up your sauce pan and add the olive oil to it. Once hot, add in the chopped onion and saute for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Add in the garlic for about a minute - too long and garlic starts to burn in the oil.
Pour in the broth and the tomatoes. Do not add the pumpkin until closer to the end. Stir in the cayenne, chopped sweet pepper, cinnamon, parsley and basil. Continue to cook on medium until it is becoming a steady simmer, then cover and reduce to low/medium-low to hold a simmer.
Cook for about 20-25 minutes, making sure that the peppers are getting soft. Now add in the pumpkin and stir well. Cook for about 5-10 minutes longer to heat it all the way through. If you haven't already, you can add any meat that you are adding and it is ready to serve over pasta!
What is your favorite thing about fall?
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- Sauce pot
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 sweet onion large, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 sweet pepper large - either red or orange, chopped
- ¼ tsp cayenne more if preferred
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tbsp dried parsley flakes
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 1 cup chicken broth low sodium
- Heat up your sauce pot over medium heat. Add in the olive oil and onions. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until the onions are just starting to become translucent.Add in garlic and cook for another minute.
- Pour in the broth and the tomatoes. Add in the peppers, cayenne, cinnamon, parsley and basil. Stir well.Bring to a steady simmer on medium and then cover and reduce heat to low/medium-low, just high enough to keep a simmer.Simmer for 20-15 minutes.
- Add in the pumpkin puree and stir well. Cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes, long enough to heat through again.Your sauce is ready to serve over pasta, enjoy!