Pumpkin Penne

One year ago, little Amelia was the size of a poppyseed. My husband and I had just found out I was pregnant and learned her poppyseed status on a webpage that gave food size comparisons for each week of pregnancy.

About a day later, I found out that I was carrying the world's meanest poppyseed.

People talk about morning sickness and how horrible it is, but you never really believe them. You always think they are exaggerating or that it won't be bad for you because you've only been sick to your stomach once in the past twelve years and you never get motion sickness or sick from smells and you eat healthy and you are just plain too tough to have morning sickness. Or at least that's what I thought.

The first day it hit I left work early to lay on the couch and call my mom periodically to tell her someone was playing a cruel joke on me. Eventually I realized I was starving but nothing sounded good to eat. That was probably the worst part of the morning sickness for me, aside from feeling sick and having to keep track of the closest bathroom/garbage cans in case of emergency. I hated not being able to eat my favorite foods. I normally look forward to the fall because I love apples and pumpkins and the wonderful cinnamony spices that accompany them but last year, just the thought of a caramel apple or pumpkin bread made me queasy.

Fast forward a year and now I'm making up for lost time with the fall foods, starting with this pumpkin pasta. Weird, I know, using pumpkin instead of tomato as a pasta sauce but you'll have to believe me that it works. It makes a mild, creamy sauce that tastes good. I'm used to thinking of pumpkin as a sweet ingredient with cinnamon, but it works surprisingly well with sage and parmesan in this savory dish. And, like everything I've been making lately, it's quick and easy. It's a great, fast way to kick off the fall food season.

Pumpkin Penne

HeatOvenTo350 Published 10/02/2012
Pumpkin Penne


  • Salt
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • Pepper
  • 7 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced
  • Grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, to pass around the table


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
  2. While the pasta is working, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, pumpkin and cream. Add the hot sauce, cinnamon and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sage.
  3. Toss the pasta with the sauce and pass the parmigiano-reggiano around the table.
Prep Time: 2 min Cook Time: 12 min Yield: 4
Author: HeatOvenTo350 Recipe Source: Rachael Ray

7 Click For Comments:

I'm terrified of the possibility of morning sickness when I am pregnant! The thought of feeling nauseous so much is not a pleasant one and I'm so sorry you had it so badly.

But hooray for feeling better this fall, and for pumpkin! I'm usually a sweet pumpkin girl too, but love the idea of this savory recipe. Definitely the perfect dinner for one since I know my husband wouldn't touch it!

This sounds delicious and so comforting, perfect for fall!

I've never experienced morning sickness but being nauseous is the worst! At least it didn't last forever and, of course, you got something good out of it in the end! :)

I love the idea of using pumpkin as a pasta sauce. Too bad my boyfriend refuses to eat anything with pumpkin but since this looks so easy it's going to make a great lunch for me.

this actually sounds really good to me. wonder if I could convince hubby? lol

Morning sickness is something I only really experienced with my last child. And even then, it was like all day sickness. It was weird how certain things you have always loved repulse you...and then once the baby is out, seem good again! lol Hormones! Gotta love um ( or hate um!) lol

Oh man...I'm def not looking forward to morning sickness when I get pregnant. So glad you're back to being able to eat what you want again :) This looks great!

YUM. I am NOT looking forward to the morning sickness (fingers crossed I don't get it). Looking forward to making this dish though :)

I will definitely give this one a try - yum! When I was pregnant with my daughter, I could not stand red meat, but craved Thai and Chinese food. My almost 21 year old daughter now? Hates red meat and loves Thai and Chinese food! She said its because I never ate meat when I was pregnant with her that she doesn't like it now!

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