If this recipe doesn’t get you excited for the flavors of the Holiday season– —then I just don’t know what will!

I have to admit– when I first thought about pumpkin and pasta I was a little skeptical. It initially gave me the same feeling I get when seeing pumpkin spice flavored hummus or potato chips (it’s a no from me.) Well, let me tell you— pumpkin and pasta are a duo that should never be separated.

I am perhaps the number one fan of using a jarred marinara sauce as the base of a pasta sauce and then building on new flavors. I’ve partnered with Barilla to bring you this recipe, and I’ve used their new premium Vero Gusto sauce collection as the base of the sauce. The ingredients are imported from Italy and they are so simple and pure— I used the Heritage Marinara in this recipe and the ingredients are: Italian Datterini Tomatoes, onions, extra virgin olive oil, carrots, garlic, sea salt, basil, oregano, black pepper. It’s what you would get if you took the time to make a sauce from scratch– a delicious sauce with real ingredients.

This sauce combines creamy pumpkin and coconut milk with the acidic balance of tomatoes from the marinara and fragrant crispy sage. I’ve included an option to add mushrooms—but feel free to leave out if you’re not a fan!




For the sauce:

1 cup marinara sauce (I used Vero Gusto ‘Heritage Marinara’)

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (culinary coconut milk)

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 sage leaves, roughly chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For crispy sage topping (optional):

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

6-8 leaves of sage

For mushrooms (optional): 

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 to 2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used cremini)


I used a 12 oz. box of brown rice penne — feel free to use the pasta of your choice.




For the sauce, heat olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Add in garlic and sage and cook until the garlic is fragrant and the sage appears a bit browned and crispy, about 5 minutes.

To the sauce pan, add in pumpkin and marinara sauce, along with sea salt and nutmeg and stir to combine. Let this come to a simmer and sit for about 5 minutes. Take off heat and stir in the coconut milk. Feel free to add in a little more coconut milk if you want it to be creamier/more rich.

Toss in cooked pasta and serve. You can enjoy this as is—or read on for the addition of crispy sage and mushroom.

For the crispy sage, heat up 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat. Add in the sage leaves and cook for about 5 minutes or until the sage is crispy and browned. Set aside.

To the same pan, add a little more olive oil (about 1 teaspoon) and then add sliced mushrooms, sea salt and dried thyme. Cook on medium high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring only ever so often to allow them to get brown and crispy.

Serve pasta with some crushed up crispy sage, some pan fried mushrooms, flakey sea salt, and black pepper. Enjoy!



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