Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Gorgonzola
Roasted pumpkin is combined with onions, diced tomatoes, honey and a bit of cinnamon for a creamy fall inspired pasta sauce. I add Gorgonzola, a veined blue cheese to add a salty “bite” and offset the sweetness of the pumpkin in the sauce.
I use roasted sugar pumpkins (also sometimes referred to as pie pumpkins) rather than canned pumpkin puree as the base of the sauce. This type of pumpkin works best for cooking because it has a smooth, firm and sweet flesh. While you can technically cook with the larger pumpkins you see carved into Jack-o’-lanterns or used for décor, you really don’t want to use them for this recipe. They often have a more watery, bland and stringy flesh than the smaller sugar pumpkins.
And there is one more benefit to using sugar pumpkins - prior to roasting the them, save the seeds and roast them for a snack. They are delicious.
1 small (3-pound) sugar pumpkin, seeds removed and quartered
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, sliced
¾ cup canned diced tomatoes
1½ cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
¼ cup heavy cream
3 ounces Gorgonzola
1 pound bucatini pasta
Heat oven to 400ºF. Rub the pumpkin quarters in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and place skin-side up on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until the meat is soft and can easily be pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes.
Let the pumpkins cool. Use a spoon and scoop the flesh from the skin and set aside. Discard the skins.
Heat a large sauce pot over medium heat, add the remaining oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds then stir in the tomatoes, roasted pumpkin and chicken broth.
Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes then stir in the honey and cinnamon then season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the mixture cool slightly then add to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cream and remove from heat. Break up the Gorgonzola into pieces then stir in the Gorgonzola until it has completely melted into the sauce.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the bucatini and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Add the sauce and stir to combine.