This recipe is inspired by part of a gift we received from our good friends Alice and Doug as a housewarming gift two years ago: A jar of Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce. The jar said, " A rich, creamy sauce featuring pumpkin and aged Parmesan cheese seasoned with caramelized onions, roasted garlic and sage." It was delicious. I wrote down the ingredients so I could try to make it from scratch, because there is no Williams-Sonoma anywhere near here.
I didn't end up using all the same ingredients, (namely water and butternut squash) and of course there aren't amounts on a jar of sauce from the store. So this is my own creation, inspired by Williams-Sonoma. I used leftover fresh pumpkin puree I had in the freezer from last year's Halloween!
Number One proclaimed, "This tastes like fall." H-Bomb, after initially saying he didn't want sauce, said he loved it. Sawed Off ate it, but wouldn't commit to liking it. I thought it was delicious, and I'm proud to say the sauce turned out on the very first try!
While it's not as orange or quite as smooth as the jarred sauce was, I can say that I know exactly what is in it, and we liked it!
Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce
Serves 6 to 8 (I'm sort of guessing because we had a lot of leftovers)
1 pound spaghetti or pasta of your choice
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
3 cups roasted pumpkin puree
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon sage leaves
1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1/3 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon lemon juice
grated Parmesan, to serve
Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
In a large pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat, until onions are translucent and just starting to brown. Stir in chicken broth and heat. Stir in pumpkin puree and spices, then simmer on low while preparing your pasta as directed. (I actually simmered my puree for about 20 minutes, because it had been frozen and needed to simmer out some of the water.)
Whisk half-and-half into the pumpkin mixture, and heat gently. Stir in Parmesan, adding more if desired. Minutes before serving, stir in lemon juice.
Drain pasta and place in large bowl, pour sauce on top of pasta. Serve with more freshly grated Parmesan on top, if desired.