Creamy Pumpkin Marinara
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups
- Category: Sauce
- Cuisine: Italian
This pumpkin marinara recipe tastes like fall. It’s comforting like mac and cheese, but lighter and full of vegetables! Just add pasta. Recipe yields about 4 cups sauce (enough to generously coat 12 ounces/4 modest servings of pasta).
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée
- 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Finely grated Parmesan and chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (both optional)
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s shimmering, add the onion, bell pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and pepper are very tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, oregano, tarragon, and cinnamon. While stirring, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute, while stirring. Add the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Continue simmering for 5 minutes, then remove it from the heat.
- Carefully transfer the mixture to your blender. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Blend until very smooth and creamy.
- Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and additional salt (I usually add another 1/4 teaspoon salt). For a more luxurious sauce, add another tablespoon of butter, or for more tangy complexity, add another teaspoon of vinegar. Blend to combine.
- Stir into warm pasta. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped parsley on top.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Omit the butter or blend in olive oil instead. Use vegan Parmesan or omit it.
Make it gluten free: This sauce is gluten free. Just serve it over gluten-free pasta.