Campanelle with Creamy Pumpkin Alfredo
This carb-a-licious pasta dish of Campanelle with Creamy Pumpkin Alfredo features a luxurious alfredo sauce that just happens to be dairy-free. Plus, pumpkin!
All throughout the fall and winter, pumpkins of every size can be found at grocery stores and farm stands. Yes, we all love the giant ones for carving funny faces and the wee ones for decorating. But my favorite? The pie pumpkins.
These small pumpkins are sometimes called sugar pumpkins or baking pumpkins. They have smooth orange skin and weigh between two and three pounds. Once roasted, the pumpkin flesh can be added to sauces, soups, and sweets.
But why bake a pumpkin when you can just open a can of pumpkin puree? Flavor, of course. Freshly roasted pumpkin is going to taste cleaner, more pumpkin-y, and less metallic than anything you scrape out of a can.
Baking a pumpkin is not hard, I promise. The biggest task is cleaning out the middle and deciding whether you are going to toss the seeds or roast them.
Once cooked, these orange-y orbs yield around two cups of mashed pumpkin. Just enough for a pie. Or a pasta sauce.
The first time I saw this pasta at the grocery store I thought it looked like little flowers. So it’s no surprise that “campanelle” means “bellflower” in Italian. With its ruffly edges and curved shape, it is a beautiful pasta and one I wouldn’t attempt to make by hand.
It is made from just three ingredients: durum wheat semolina, eggs, and water. The Italian import brand I buy comes in 12-ounce bags but the more easily found Barilla brand offers it in 16-ounce boxes.
I love that the space in the center of the “flower” is perfect for trapping creamy sauces, like the pumpkin alfredo featured here. A perfect side: Ligurian Focaccia!
- Don’t want to bake a pumpkin? I get it. You can sub in a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree instead.
- If you can’t find campanelle, you can use any tubular pasta like penne or rigatoni. For pasta with a similar ruffly edge, try fusilli or radiatori.
- This recipe is vegan if you make it with vegan butter, and non-dairy milk. Top it with vegan cheese.
- 1 small baking pumpkin (2 to 3 lbs)
- 2 Tbsp butter, olive oil, or vegan butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp ground sage
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups coconut milk, or any kind
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 12 oz campanelle or similar pasta
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
- Shaved parmesan or vegan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Lightly oil the cut sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the pumpkin, cut sides down, on a baking sheet for 50 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven, turn over the pumpkin halves so cut sides face up, and let cool. Scoop out the flesh into a food processor or blender and blitz until it is a smooth puree. It should equal around 2 cups.
- Make the sauce by melting the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then adding the flour, sage, nutmeg, and garlic. Lower the heat to medium and stir to combine until the mixture looks dry, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and stir, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, then season with salt and pepper. Stir and bring the sauce to a simmer. Depending on the milk you used, the sauce may be too thin. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 3 tablespoons of cold water, then add it to the sauce and stir until it is starting to thicken. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, then dump the pasta into the sauce and stir to combine.
- To serve, place the pasta in individual serving bowls and top with chopped sage and shaved cheese.
Keywords: campanelle with creamy pumpkin alfredo