The superstar of fall gets an Italian infusion in this recipe for rigatoni with spicy pumpkin cream sauce.
rigatoni with spicy pumpkin cream sauce

So it seems like my wedding diet has been pushed aside for things like “happiness”, “sanity”, “the.boy’s general well being”, and “pumpkin cream sauce”.

It was fun while it lasted.



In full disclosure, it mostly ended when we experienced The Mouse Part Two on Thursday.

Thankfully the.boy was home when it happened so he doesn’t continue to believe that I’m prone to hallucinations.

I won’t go into many of the gory details, but WE FOUND THE HOLE and the.boy only had to slightly risk his life crawling over our counters and behind our refrigerator to fill it. It was not pretty back there, let me tell you. I still maintain he should get a tetanus shot.

The things we do for love. And because I withheld sex donuts from him.

I never promised to fight fair.

Anyway, so then I had to have a donut as well, in solidarity and also because WE MIGHT BE FINALLY MOUSE FREE. Which means I can sleep at night. Hallelujah.


Apparently once you decide a pumpkin donut is wedding diet-approved, it’s really just a slippery slope to pumpkin cream sauce consumption.

Before you start to dry heave from imagining that I trashed up alfredo sauce with pumpkin spice, NO NO NO. I would never do that.

This creamy sauce does have pumpkin in it, but the flavors are all Italian comfort. With a hint of subtle pumpkin sweetness to go with that red pepper flake spice.

You will lick your bowl clean. And that’s an order.

Rigatoni with Spicy Pumpkin Cream Sauce
The superstar of fall gets an Italian infusion in this recipe for rigatoni with spicy pumpkin cream sauce.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp minced sage
  • 1 tbsp minced chives
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan, along with a pinch of salt. Cook until shallot is translucent, stirring frequently, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sage, chives, and red pepper flakes, cooking for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Pour in the pumpkin, heavy cream, whole milk, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Let simmer until mixture starts to boil, then remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, when the pot of water is boiling, cook the rigatoni until al dente. In the last few minutes of cooking, add the kale to the pasta water. Drain and then toss the pasta and kale with the pumpkin cream sauce. Serve warm.
An Eats Well With Others Original
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

 For more pumpkin-filled pasta, check out these:

pumpkin ravioli with sage and toasted hazelnuts

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage and Toasted Hazelnuts

pumpkin gnocchi with winter squash and seared radicchio

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Winter Squash and Seared Radicchio

vegetarian bacon and butternut squash pasta with gruyere and kale

Butternut Pasta with Kale and Caramelized Onions

From Around the Web:

One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta from Kitchen Treaty

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash and Chickpea Zucchini Pasta with Toasted Pumpkin Gremolata Breadcrumbs from Inspiralized

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta from My Whole Food Life

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Parmesan and Sage from Bake Your Day

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Bake from A Family Feast


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66 Responses to Rigatoni with Spicy Pumpkin Cream Sauce

  1. with half marathon coming up – this is totally approved right?

  2. You’ve reminded me I used to make a pumpkin pasta sauce years ago – time to get it back into rotation!

  3. Johanna GGG says:

    sometimes boys are so useful – and mice are not! hope the little vermin has gone elsewhere – funnily enough we had pumpkin alfredo sauce with kale tonight – but vegan alfredo because I had a bit of a cheese binge over the weekend and needed to lighten up!

  4. debbie says:

    I love this and it will be one I will try. There is not much in the way of pasta that I DON’T like!!!! We have mousetraps at work and I dread that one poor mouse will be in one. We had a mouse “sighting” a while back but nothing since then…..Thank God…

  5. I love pumpkin in my pasta sauce. I know this is amazingly delicious! Happy mouse free, Joanna!

  6. Amazing, as always! Such a great comfort food for this time of year. And I totally believe it’s wedding-diet approved so eat up 🙂

  7. oh my gawd!!! you guys found the hole?!!! what on earth did you use to fill it?! Well, I’d say 6 donuts are in order for doing that. . and hell yes, you certainly have one with him. 🙂 and can I just say that savory pumpkin pasta dishes are the BEST . . everyone else would have done the same thing for pumpkin cream sauce. . love love love this!

  8. Monica says:

    Oh boy, I’m a bit distracted by that mouse hole story! Brave fella, you got there!
    As for this pasta, it’s just making me hungry!!

  9. What a great recipe for pumpkin sauce! I love everything about this dish.

  10. Because I fully support eating donuts and pasta all day long, I need to ask: what if he sealed the hole while the mouse wasn’t in his hole-in-the-wall home? And now a mouse is stuck roaming your apartment? Better eat all of the food before he/she can get to it! Ever since we saw 2 mice, I permanently have a PB-filled live trap sitting out that I check every couple of days. Because paranoid. It’s been 3 years.

  11. Oh my goodness! This looks amazing! Not only will I lick the bowl, I’m pretty sure by the time I have to dish up, EVERYTHING will be in my tummy.

  12. Cassie says:

    Love, love, love this rigatoni, Joanne. The spicy-ness is great! And thanks for the shout out!

  13. Ugh. We have had a few mousepocalypses since we moved into our 100+ year old house and it is NOT fun. I hope you’ve figured out the entry way so you don’t have to deal with those nasty critters anymore! On a side note, I’d ditch my diet in a second for this pasta. SO CREAMY!

  14. No mice here, but I’m certain we live on top of the largest ant colony known to man. And they just keep reproducing by the billions. Every. Single. Day. Pass me some pumpkin cream sauce.

  15. This sounds fantastic – pumpkin with a kick!

  16. I just about peed my pants at the donut withholding. OMG. And this pasta, forget about it!!

  17. danielle says:

    I love all things pumpkin and this sounds fantastic.

  18. Heather says:

    I feel like I’m already getting burned out on pumpkin everything, but this sounds like a yummy twist.

  19. I could eat that pumpkin cream sauce with a spoon!

  20. I’m inclined to think that donut withholding falls under the cruel and unusual punishment category 🙂 Though, who needs donuts when this sauce exists! I foresee this pasta on my dinner table in the every near future!

  21. That looks delicious! I’ve made a couple pumpkin or butternut squash based pasta sauces in recent months, and they’ve been a hit every time. I can’t wait to try this one!

  22. I love that creamy spicy pumpkin sauce!

  23. P says:

    Looks like the perfect fall meal :)!!!!

  24. I love pumpkin and pasta together! This pumpkin cream sauce sounds so good!

  25. cheri says:

    Love the spices you used here, glad the mouse situation has been taken care of!!!

  26. Mary Frances says:

    So mice are the dumbest things ever. WHY come into my house?
    In other words, I just died at pumpkin cream sauce. And I totally knew where you were going with this (what? who thought pumpkin pie spice? again, WHY?) and believe me, my bowl would be licked clean. Those big rogatoni noodles … so so good. Pass me the pan!

  27. Pam says:

    The.Boy is brave & totally deserves this tasty pasta for his manly skills. He also deserves a donut ;).

  28. Meg says:

    So glad the mouse’s reign of terror appears to be over! We had one at my parents’ house for a few dark weeks one winter and yeah, that was no good. The scratching. The horrible scratching!

    Also, this pasta and I would totally have a torrid love affair. I’m all about pumpkin sauce — sooooo good and comforting.

  29. I am craving this something FIERCE!

  30. You are a culinary genius, seriously. I would like this pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, please!

  31. Zainab says:

    WOW!! I want this creamy sauce immediately!! And hooray for mouse free 🙂

  32. Hopefully there won’t be a part 3 to yalls mouse saga!
    Btw – this pumpkin cream sauce needs a recipe book of its own!

  33. Kate says:

    Pasta with pumpkin creams sauce is a fall staple!

  34. This sauce is straight up fabulous! Loving the kale in there too….totally necessary!!

  35. Oh, I do love the kale in the sauce.

  36. Katie says:

    That pasta looks far more appealing than any wedding diet, and obviously the crucial antidote to mouse induced trauma x

  37. Lauren says:

    Just popped into Whole Foods to pick up the ingredients – abandoning my previous dinner plans, because these pictures look amazing!

  38. Karen says:

    This looks like a great pasta! I’ve never thought of using pumpkin puree with pasta before, Genius!

  39. I was dreaming of eating something similar to this recently … so that means I really have to try this. I love the big rigatoni shapes you’ve used – great for heavy sauces. So glad you didn’t have to share this with your mouse visitor as well! 🙂

  40. First, congrats on being ‘Mouse-Free’. 😉 Second, my goodness this looks amazing! I love to pair flavors that might seem to be opposites, but work beautifully together: salty/sweet, sweet/sour, and here, sweet/spicy. This is my kind of comfort food, Joanne!

  41. This sounds FABUOUS Joanne! I am so onboard with this pumpkin cream and kale! Also hooray for mouse free!

  42. Eileen says:

    Pumpkin and kale, together forever. 🙂 This sounds like the perfect thing to eat on a cold night when all you want to do is crawl directly into bed.

  43. Julia says:

    So happy to hear you’re living mouse-free these days! Spicy pumpkin sauce me, baby, that sounds fuh-reaking amazing! Love this hearty plate o’ pastalicious with the all that kale and pumpkin. Peeeerfecto!

  44. Megan says:

    I don’t blame you. Pumpkin cream sauce is pretty tempting! This looks like an awesome bowl of comfort!

  45. Eeek! I’m not going to go with the all bad things come in threes theory on this one…… nope.
    Pumpkin+Pasta+Kale=happy me.

  46. I see you even managed to sneak the kale into your dish. Hope the mice stay far away now!

  47. I hope that was the last stand with the mouse! I know they’re tiny (possibly harmless) creatures, but they freak me out when they’re scurrying across the floor!

    On another note, I’m totally dreaming about this pumpkin cream sauce right now.

  48. That would definitely have me licking the bowl. And going back for more. Frankly, I think anything with pumpkin in it is fair game as far as diet food goes – in fact it should probably be compulsory.

  49. Yay, so glad you guys found the hole – bwahaha withholding donuts sounds like it worked 🙂 Love the pumpkin cream sauce on this pasta, it looks amazing!

  50. I love the idea of a spicy pumpkin pasta sauce. I’m wondering if I can veganise this to use tahini and nutritional yeast…only one way to find out 😛

  51. Hotly Spiced says:

    I do hope the mouse has found a new home. I’m glad you’re happy he has moved on. I do love rigatoni! It’s a great comfort pasta xx

  52. tigerfish says:

    Looks like I hv found some inspiration to use that almost-expiring can of pumpkin puree sitting in my pantry. Pasta sauce can be in my zone too. If not, I might be making soup with the puree again!

  53. […] traditional way. I’ve seen some delicious recipes, like these Cheesy Pumpkin Quesadillas and this Rigatoni with Spicy Pumpkin Cream Sauce. […]

  54. This looks, and sounds, so amazing! I’m definitely a pasta lover, but I’ve never tried a pumpkin sauce.

  55. […] if you’re looking for something more indulgent, try Rigatoni with Spicy Pumpkin Cream Sauce from Eats Well With […]

  56. Pasta and pumpkin go great together and your recipe sounds terrific.

  57. Christina says:

    OK, I’m not on the pumpkin train, but I COULD get on for this!

  58. Lynn says:

    Mice – I hate them so much. So glad they are forced to find other lodgings now. And love the creamy goodness of this recipe.

  59. What a beautiful colored pasta this is. I like the choice of pasta you used. Talk about creamy for a sauce! And yay for living in a mouse free zone. I am with you in that pursuit completely.

  60. Now I want that pasta and that creamy sauce. Oh my! Joanne you are killing me 😉

  61. Reeni says:

    I love pumpkin pasta! Must get some in my belly ASAP! I want to dive headfirst into that. Glad to hear the mouse is locked out!

  62. sara says:

    This looks AMAZING! Totally in love. 🙂

  63. totally need to try this! looks amazing!

  64. […] Une recette de pâtes aussi automnale que réconfortante. J’en veux! […]

  65. elly says:

    This sounds great! I have a pumpkin creamy sauce that I like, but I never thought of spicing it up. Will definitely be rocking the crushed red pepper the next time I make it.

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