Pumpkin in Unexpected Places

Fall brings about thoughts of cooler weather, falling leaves, and of course, pumpkins!

Pumpkins can be a favorite of dietitians due to the high amount of vitamin A and fiber in a small amount of calories. From a botanical point of view, pumpkins are a fruit since it’s the part of the plant that develops from a flower and contains seeds.  From a cooking point of view, it’s a vegetable since it’s less sweet.  From a nutritional standpoint, it’s loaded with some great nutrients.  Pumpkin is a great source of beta carotene (which gives pumpkin its orange color).   That beta carotene is important for helping our skin stay youthful and help prevent some cancers.  It can also be converted into a form of Vitamin A which helps with eyesight.  While fresh pumpkin is great for you, don’t forget that canned pureed pumpkin can also provide all of these benefits.

Many people want to put that pumpkin into a pie – which is delicious- but how about using it in an unexpected and healthier way? Pumpkin can help give some creaminess to dishes without adding extra fat and calories.  In the dish are making today, we will use the pumpkin to make a thick and delicious sauce for some pasta.  The bonus is we will make it all in one pot!

One Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped small (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 8 ounces linguine pasta
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I recommend Chardonnay or another wine that’s on the dry side)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 (4-ounce) log fresh goat cheese
  • 1 small bunch parsley, chopped


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil; add the onion, then garlic cook for 2-3 minutes or until onion begins to get translucent.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except the goat cheese and parsley (and any additional salt and pepper) to a large pot.
  3. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. As soon as it comes to the rolling boil, set the timer for 9 minutes. Stir and toss with tongs as it cooks, stirring frequently for the first few minutes and then constantly as it thickens and begins to stick to the bottom of the pot. When the 9 minutes is up, the pasta should be tender and the sauce will have thickened slightly. If the pasta is not yet cooked, continue for one more minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Crumble goat cheese into the pasta. Stir gently until melted and combined. Let sit for 5 minutes (at this point, the pasta will seem somewhat soupy, but it will thicken as it sits).
  5. Stir and taste. Add additional salt and pepper if desired.
  6. Divide between bowls and sprinkle parsley over the tops.                                                 


Adapted from Kitchen Treaty

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