Creamy Pumpkin Penne with Crispy Sage and Toasted Pecans

Creamy Pumpkin Penne with Crispy Sage and Toasted Pecans
Staff Writer
Pumpkin Penne

Robert Raphael

Pumpkin Penne

Here’s a quick and easy pumpkin vegan pasta recipe that’s so hearty and comforting, you won’t miss the meat.


*Note: You can substitute 2 cups of roasted butternut squash for every 14 ounces of canned pumpkin.


For the fried sage garnish

  • canola oil
  • whole fresh sage leaves
  • Sea salt, to taste

For the pasta

  • sea salt, plus more for cooking pasta
  • penne, cooked according to package directions
  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped roughly
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 14  canned pumpkin, preferably organic*
  • tomato paste
  • soy, almond, or rice milk
  • ground nutmeg
  • maple syrup
  • 1/2  freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil
  • fresh sage, chopped
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2  toasted pecans, chopped roughly


For the fried sage garnish

Heat the canola oil in a small skillet until a small piece of sage sizzles when added to the oil. Fry 8 sage leaves in 2 batches until crispy, flipping once, about 1 minute total. Watch the sage leaves carefully to make sure that they do not burn. Let them drain on a paper towel and season lightly with salt.

For the pasta

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook according to the package directions. Drain and return to pot.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat. In a blender, purée the onion mixture, pumpkin, tomato paste, milk, nutmeg, maple syrup, salt, and pepper until smooth. Set aside.

Toss the hot pasta in the pot with the sauce, toasted pecans, and fresh chopped sage. Garnish with crispy sage and serve.


Pumpkin Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age.

Pumpkin Cooking Tip

Vegetable should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.