Creamy Pumpkin Vodka Sauce & Penne
We're making this Creamy Pumpkin Penne Vodka all fall long!
- Kosher salt
- ¾ lb. penne rigate or rigatoni
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- ¼ c. packed fresh sage leaves
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp. (or more) crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ c. tomato paste
- ½ c. vodka
- 1 c. pure pumpkin puree
- ½ c. finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- ½ c. water
- ¼ c. heavy cream
- Small pinch of ground fresh nutmeg
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, in a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add sage and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer sage to a paper-towel lined plate, leaving any excess oil in skillet.
- In same skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Cook onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened in color and toasted, about 2 minutes.
- Step 4
- Pour in vodka and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vodka is reduced by about three-quarters, about 2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin puree, Parmesan, water, cream, nutmeg, and ¾ teaspoon salt until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth and combined.
- When pasta is ready, return skillet to medium-high heat. Add ½ cup pasta water, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Add pasta and stir until pasta is well coated with sauce, adding more pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to thin sauce; season with salt and red pepper flakes.
- Spoon pasta onto plates. Top with crispy sage, more Parmesan, and a drizzle of oil.
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