This Spicy Pumpkin Pasta Bake is really simple to whip up and is so incredibly delicious. Loaded with spicy Italian sausage, pumpkin puree, creamy ricotta, and fresh sage.
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It’s one of my favorite things to make in the fall and is perfect for serving a crowd. It’s comfort food at its best.
I love making a baked pasta dish when I have friends coming over because you can do all the prep work ahead of time, and simply store it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it off.
I also don’t know anyone that doesn’t enjoy a big bowl of pasta so it’s a win win situation.
My Dexas Silicone Spoon rest comes in so handy for meals like this. It’s heat resistant up to 500 degrees, non slip, catches any drippings from the spoon, and can go straight into the dishwasher. Gotta love a good product like that.
The flavor in this dish starts with the spicy Italian sausage, shallots, garlic, and sage- the combination is just so good and sets us up for success early on.
Then we’ll add the pumpkin puree, cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and grated parmesan; toss it all up and let simmer for 5 minutes or so until it starts to thicken up.
Once the pasta is al dente, reserve a little pasta water before draining, and then add the cooked pasta directly into the pan with the creamy pumpkin sauce.
Toss it all up to evenly coat all noodles and then spread into a large greased casserole dish. Add a few dollops of fresh ricotta for good measure and pop it in the oven.
Truly so easy and always always a crowd pleaser!!
Do I have to use spicy Italian sausage?
No, of course not. If you don’t like spicy things or will be serving this to your kids and they don’t like spicy things, simply sub mild Italian sausage or sweet Italian sausage, both work great!!
How can I adjust this recipe so that it’s dairy free?
Leave out the cheese, and sub a non-dairy milk alternative for the heavy cream. I love nut pods original or even coconut milk would work.
This would be the absolute perfect dish to make on Halloween night for friends and family. Prep everything ahead of time before heading out the door for trick or treating and then simply pop it in the oven when you get home. You can thank me later!!Print
Spicy Pumpkin Pasta Bake
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 35
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- 2–3 T olive oil
- 2 T butter
- 1 lb spicy Italian sausage, bulk (can sub sweet or mild Italian sausage if you don’t like spicy)
- 1 lb short cut pasta (rigatoni, penne, pennoni, Cavatappi)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 7 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T fresh sage, chopped + a few leaves as garnish
- 1/2 c chicken broth
- 1/4 c reserved pasta water, more as needed
- 1 c pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 c grated parmesan
- 7 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large casserole dish; set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta per instructions on package. When pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 c pasta water and drain; set aside.
- Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add sausage and cook breaking up with the back of your spoon until fully cooked through. Drain any excess grease at this time.
- Reduce heat to medium and add shallots, garlic, and sage; cook another 2-3 minutes, until everything is soft and really fragrant.
- Pour in chicken broth and scrape your spoon along the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits. Now stir in pumpkin puree and heavy cream and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken up a bit.
- Stir in parmesan and any reserved pasta water if needed. ( I used about 1/4 c reserved pasta water for reference)
- Add drained pasta directly to the skillet with the sauce and toss to combine making sure all noodles are coated in the sauce.
- Pour pasta into prepared casserole dish and spread into an even layer. Dollop ricotta all over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until top is golden in spots.
- Top with more parmesan and torn up sage leaves.