Parmesan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

This pumpkin pasta sauce is a great alternative to the classic red sauce.

During my travels through Italy, I spent a 24-hour stopover in Modena, a small town renown for its balsamic vinegar and tortellini pasta. With neighbouring cities such as Parma (the hometown of parmesan cheese) and Bologna (where bolognese sauce originated from), the Emilia Romagna region is bursting with some of Italy’s greatest culinary feats.


I was in Modena with a couple of friends, and we were being hosted by two Italian boys we’d met in Genova, the town of pesto! The guys, Giuseppe and Andrea, showed us around the quaint town, and of course, being Italian, indulged us in a huge Italian feast. That afternoon I enjoyed a pumpkin pasta sauce that has stayed with me ‘til this very day, and so of course it’s something I just had to share with you.

I just managed to catch the recipe in its entirety as two fully grown Italian men squabbled over the ‘correct’ way of making the dish. Sipping on our vino, it  was hilarious to watch one swear ‘mama did it this way,’ while the other swore ‘mama did it this way’.

As far as I was concerned, this way or that way, it all tasted delicious. The orange burst of pumpkin is a nice alternative to the red sauce you usually see. The sauce is rich and gorgeous like all authentic mama recipes should be!

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Parmesan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 45 mins Serves: 4


  • 2 cups of pumpkin
  • 1/4 a cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 a cup of walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp of thickened cream
  • 3/4 cup of water ( 1/2 a cup from tap, 1/4 cup from pasta water)
  • olive oil, salt, pepper


  1. Cut your pumpkin, and lay out on an oven tray with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes on 200°C until cooked
  3. In a blender place your pumpkin, walnuts and cheese pepper & salt 1/2 a cup of water & olive oil . Blend until a soft puree.
  4. Put your pasta on to cook
  5. Place in a pan to heat up, and once bubbling add the cream, using a spoon grab some of the pasta water so the sauce has some starch.
  6. Let simmer for 5 minutes and turn off
  7. Place your cooked pasta in the pan and place in the sauce to cover the pasta thoroughly
  8. Ready for eating!

Da Tavola x