Baked Pumpkin Pasta is a quick, healthy pasta dish made with pumpkin, zucchini and ricotta cheese. This simple comfort food is perfect for a weeknight dinner.
I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again: Fall is my favorite time of year for cooking and baking. Mainly because I love pumpkin recipes! While I typically prefer to use pumpkin in baked goods, this Baked Pumpkin Pasta made for a delightful, easy and healthy weeknight dinner.
Most pumpkin pasta recipes I have seen use cream or half and half. I prefer lighter dishes, so this ricotta cheese and pumpkin sauce was perfect. The sauce starts out thick, but can be thinned out to your desired consistency by using reserved pasta water. Sage and thyme are natural pairs with the pumpkin. Together all the flavors were pleasing but a bit mild. This was appreciated by Adam’s 3-year-old palate, but I decided to kick it up a notch and add some cayenne pepper. This was a very welcome addition.
In the time it takes to cook the pasta, you can saute the vegetables, make the sauce and then stir in the pasta. Put it all in the baking dish and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. The result is an easy and healthy Pumpkin Baked Pasta that is perfect for a weeknight dinner!
- 12 ounces penne pasta (or other short pasta shape)
- 1 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 small zucchini, quartered-lengthwise, then sliced
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 15 ounce can pumpkin
- 1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400* F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook pasta, in salted water, according to package directions to al dente, less 2 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water for later use.
- Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and zucchini 5 to 6 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, cayenne and herbs within last minute, stirring until combined.
- Remove from heat and stir in ricotta cheese and pumpkin.
- Add drained pasta to pumpkin mixture, mixing to combine. Add reserved pasta water by the tablespoonful, as needed, until desired consistency (not too stiff, but you don't want it to be too watery)
- Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan over top of pasta and then bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown. Add crushed red pepper over tops, as desired and serve!
Today I am joining the Sunday Supper Movement again, this time as part of the Weekday Supper initiative. Each weekday, one blogger from the group shares a recipe for quick and easy meals easily found in a grocery store. The idea behind Weekday Supper is that Sunday Supper starts as just one day a week…and soon becomes a way of life.
Be sure to check out all of the great recipes for this week’s #WeekdaySupper:
Monday – Curious Cuisiniere – Ratatouille Pasta
Tuesday – Mama’s Blissful Bites – Vegetarian Stir Fry over Rice
Thursday – Cindy’s Recipes and Writings – Chicken and Rice Pie
Friday – girlichef – Buttermilk Chicken Kebabs w/ Chopped Salad