Rigatoni with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

September 10, 2010

Wednesday night a craving for pumpkin hit me hard. It had been creeping up slowly, after weeks of seeing recipes for pumpkin french toast and pumpkin oatmeal pop up on some of my favorite blogs. And then there was the incessant talk about the return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte that rang throughout the Twitter universe. Seems like I wasn’t the only one who had pumpkin on the brain.

So when Wednesday’s pumpkin craving hit me like a Mack truck, I figured satisfying it would be pretty simple, right? Run to the store, pick up some pumpkin, make something yummy. Not a chance.

When Target was out, I drove over to our midwestern grocery store chain, Hy-Vee, where I demanded to speak to the manager to inquire about why there was a large OUT OF STOCK sign where the canned pumpkin was supposed to be. Turns out, they were having a tough time getting pumpkin in the store and weren’t sure when the next shipment would come in.

I made calls that night to WalMart Supercenters and a few other specialty grocers until I found a store that had Libby’s canned pumpkin. Not wanting to risk missing out, I threw on presentable clothes and rushed over to retrieve seven 30-oz. cans of pumpkin, wet hair and all.

It was so worth the trip, if just to enjoy this pumpkin pasta. With a bit of tomato soup, ricotta cheese, and plenty of pumpkin puree, it proves pasta dishes can be creamy, delicious and healthy. If the combination sounds strange to you, you’re in good company. Most of those I’ve fed pumpkin pasta to have balked at the thought, only to fall it love with it upon first bite.

Rigatoni with Pumpkin Cream Sauce
(Printable Recipe)

*8 oz. rigatoni pasta
*1 Tbsp. butter
*3/4 cup milk (I used 1% milk)
*3/4 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. black pepper
*1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
*1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
*1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
*1/4 cup tomato soup
*14.5 oz. can diced southwestern-style tomatoes, rinsed and drained
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

*Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and keep warm.
*In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the milk, salt, black pepper and sage. Cook, stirring often, until milk is warm but not hot, about 2 to 3 minutes.
*Add in the pumpkin and ricotta cheese, stirring until all ingredients are well-combined and the mixture is creamy. Stir in the tomato soup and continue to cook until mixture is hot but not boiling, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in the diced tomatoes.
*Add pumpkin cream sauce mixture to pasta and toss to coat evenly. Divide among four bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Happy Cooking!



  • Reply husbandwifemodernlife September 10, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Can't wait to give this a try! It looks delicious and perfect for fall!

  • Reply Lauren at KeepItSweet September 10, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    this sounds incredible… i wonder how it would be with some ground turkey mixed in

  • Reply ***Holly*** September 10, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    You had me at pumpkin!

  • Reply Kristin Neth September 12, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    This looks great! Do you have any favorite recipes for Pumpkin oatmeal? Due to your mom's recommendation I have now been eating Greek yogurt. šŸ™‚ Yum Maybe a little Vanilla Greek Yogurt with cinnamon, pumpkin and oatmeal?

  • Reply Stephanie September 13, 2010 at 1:10 am

    It looks sooo delicious!

  • Reply Bethany September 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Seriously going to the store now so I can make this tonight. Looks amazing!

  • Reply Madison Mayberry September 14, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Kristin –

    So glad my mom has you hooked on Greek yogurt. You're a girl after my own heart!

    Bethany –
    Can't wait to hear how it turns out. Do let me know! šŸ™‚


  • Reply Emily September 21, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Oh. My. Goodness. I made this tonight it is absolutely delicious. Husband said he wasn't even going to try it, but them ended up asking for seconds!

  • Reply Payton September 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    How difficult do you suppose it'd be to puree any type of squash and use it instead of canned?

  • Reply Madison Mayberry September 22, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Payton, that's a great idea. I can imagine it would be divine with butternut squash or maybe even sweet potatoes.

    This photo isn't the greatest (it's from the earlier days of Espresso and Cream) but here's a great how-to on cooking butternut squash: http://www.espressoandcream.com/2010/01/cooking-school-butternut-squash.html


  • Reply Glynis Corkal September 25, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Pumpkin oatmeal and pumpkin french toast? You must direct me to these yummy recipes! Now – what are Southwestern-style tomatoes? I live in Canada – can we get them here? Is it a canned produce?

  • Reply Madison Mayberry September 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Glynis –

    The blog KathEats.com has a lot of great pumpkin oatmeal recipes! And as far as the tomatoes go, you can use Southwestern-style or regular old diced tomatoes. Both are easy to find in most grocery stores (canned). Hopefully the same is true in Canada!


  • Reply Cookin' Cowgirl July 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    That looks amazing!! šŸ™‚

    I'm having my first linky party on my blog and the theme is pumpkin. I'd like to invite you to come link up your favorite pumpkin recipe. The link is open until Wednesday at midnight, so please stop by and say hi.


    ~Cookin' Cowgirl

  • Reply Wendy January 20, 2013 at 4:12 am

    how many people does this serve?

  • Leave a Reply