Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce

While I normally think of dishes using pumpkin I cannot lie, they are sweet. This savory Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts changed my mind; it is amazing!

Pumpkin and Mascarpone Sauce Served on Farfelle Pasta with Toasted Walnuts

I admit; in some ways I fail miserably as a food blogger. If our job is to anticipate trends and provide recipe suggestions months in advance to provide pre-planning for our readers; I’m probably not your girl. I could not get into pumpkin in August and you might have thought I hated it but I seriously just had a light bulb moment while getting ready to share this recipe for Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts.

I don’t hate it but I simply can not imagine making pumpkin dishes or eating them in August so that I can jump the gun with recipes. I am far too tied to a rhythm that is influenced by the seasonal calendar and operating any differently might have me thinking that I am inhabited with spirits.

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Now that the real season is upon us, I’m going nuts. I have roasted at least 4 pumpkins so far and have four more on the counter. I’ve made a lot of homemade pumpkin butter, mostly because I keep giving jars away to friends and neighbors; it is SO amazing. I’ve made this pumpkin honey butter and hope to get a loaf of pumpkin bread made this weekend.

Pies will happen once November hits but for today, for our October Progressive Eats event, we chose Pumpkin as the theme. Our group did both sweet and savory dishes so be sure to check out the choices after the recipe for something new. This is such a talented group of people who truly love good food; I don’t think you can go wrong.

White Serving Bowl with Pumpkin and Mascarpone Sauce Served on Farfelle Pasta

I went the savory route which is a bit unusual for me but am so glad I did. Pumpkin is a popular filler for pasta this time of year but instead of making my own pasta, I decided to make a pasta sauce incorporating the flavors of pumpkin, mascarpone cheese, sage, and onion with chives and toasted walnuts for garnish.

This Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts is absolutely divine. It was everything I had hoped for; definitely pumpkin based but the flavor was mellowed beautifully by the mascarpone cheese. It could easily serve six as a side dish but it’s a nice main course vegetarian dish is you are ever inclined to go that route. Me? I’m not a vegetarian but I sure have plenty of meals without meat and this one was so satisfying.

I was so grateful that my neighbor Amy had a sage plant and am now very mindful that I need to plant one in the spring; I may not use it much during the rest of the year but fresh sage is something I love in fall inspired dishes. I have this theory too as to why sage is so popular in the fall. It is the ONLY perennial herb plant that is not yet dead as the weather turns colder. I could always go into the garden for Thanksgiving dishes and find some sage; now I’ll have to do that with Amy’s garden. We share her dog, why not her sage?


Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is all about Pumpkin. With Autumn’s arrival, it’s the perfect time to start using fall’s harvest in our menus. We have some great ideas this month to use pumpkins in all sorts of dishes, both Savory and Sweet.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

Progressive Eats Pumpkin Party



PIN IT! ‘Pumpkin and Mascarpone Pasta’Pumpkin and Mascarpone Pasta Served in a White Bowl with Walnut and Chive Garnish

Pumpkin and Mascarpone Pasta Served in a White Bowl with Walnut and Chive Garnish
White Serving Bowl with Pumpkin and Mascarpone Sauce Served on Farfelle Pasta

Pumpkin and Mascarpone Pasta

This pasta with a pumpkin and marscarpone sauce is topped with toasted walnuts and will completely change how you think of pumpkin; so delicious in savory dishes too!
4.50 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Course Vegetables
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 475 kcal


  • 1 pound Farfelle pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 15 oz of pumpkin puree fresh or canned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese sub cream cheese if necessary
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the Garnish:

  • ½ cup walnuts toasted and rough chopped
  • ¼ cup snipped chives
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated


  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water. Put the pasta in a bowl and mix with just enough olive oil to keep it from sticking.
  • In the same pot, melt the butter and heat on medium until it starts to turn a golden brown.
  • Immediately add the onion, garlic and sage and cook over moderately low heat until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes.
  • Put the onion mixture and pumpkin puree into a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Return the puree to the pot and cook over medium low heat until hot. Mix in the mascarpone and Parmesan cheese; cook on medium low heat until cheeses are incorporated..
  • Add the reserved cooking water and mix in thoroughly. Add the pasta and toss to coat and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the pasta to serving plates or bowls and top with chives, toasted walnuts and additional Parmesan cheese.


The pumpkin sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight. Reheat the sauce before mixing with the pasta cooking water and then mix with the pasta to serve.


Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin and Mascarpone Pasta
Serving Size
1 grams
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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    1. It is so good Heather I’ve already made it again; a friend gave me those sad eyes that she missed it so of course I had to make them happy again!

  1. I feel the same way. I was talking with a food blogger the other day who was filling in her Spring and Summer blogging calendar. I’m working on what I’m going to have for dinner. 🙂

    If this pasta dish were on my table tonight, I’d have seconds. It looks fabulous. My kind of food.

  2. My love for farfalle (irrational I know, it’s just a shape) is only heightened when it is bathed in a beautiful sauce like yours, Barb. I wish I lived near you and Amy – I’d be glad to share both her dog and her sage. As it is, I’ll just have to hop to the grocery store for the herb and wander the streets looking for a cute dog to “rent” 🙂

  3. I’m right there with you, Barb. I find it very difficult to create pumpkin recipes while it’s still strawberry season. Besides, early fall is for apples around here. I’ll always be behind the curve on that.

    Now, if I was a vegetarian, this is what I’d want on my plate for Thanksgiving! Or tonight for dinner. Either way. How delicious!

  4. You’re just like me. I don’t make stuff way ahead either. As a matter of fact, I have no plans to make any pumpkin dishes this year. I’m about to make a cranberry dish though so I have at least one thing for Thanksgiving. This pasta looks delish. But Hubs is alergic to nuts. Got an alternative? I know I could just leave them out, but I love the crunch that nuts add to things.

    1. There seems to be a band of us that cook in the moment…yay!

      How about toasting some panko crumbs with a bit of butter and garlic and sprinkling those on top? That might satisfy the crunch factor don’t you think?

  5. I love pumpkin in pasta dishes! And sage and pumpkin have a real affinity for each other. Pumpkin is also great with rosemary, but that doesn’t last as long in my garden as sage does. Anyway, love the fall flavors. And I’m with you on eating things in season, not months ahead of time!

    1. I plan to bring pot my rosemary in a smaller pot and try bring it inside for the winter because you’re right. While it won’t crash and burn the first night of a frost it doesn’t handle the cold well. Glad there is two of us. 🙂

  6. YUM!!! This dish looks wonderful!!! Since I am trying to stay away from pasta, I am thinking the sauce would be good over zucchini noodles (zoodles) or some other veggie noodle. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It was/is so good. Why aren’t you closer???? We should be cooking together and eating together. That would be so Progressive!

  7. Barb, this dish is just gorgeous! It practically sings fall! I’m glad you couldn’t get into pumpkin in August (it is way too early for me, too) but once you pulled the trigger on all things pumpkin, you really went for it. This pasta sauce is glorious!

    1. Exactly…there is a time and a place and now I’m there! I saw you tried a version of the dish; hope you loved it too.

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