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Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta

Serves 6

This recipe is “wise” because it uses whole wheat pasta – which is high in protein and fiber compared to semolina pasta and has a tasty, nutty flavor – plus it’s "penny-wise" (Get it? “Penne” sounds like penny!), as it is both inexpensive to make and absolutely delicious!


  • Salt
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 7-8 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to taste


  1. Heat the water for the pasta, salt it, then cook the penne to al dente.

  2. Heat the EVOO, about two turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and combine with the pumpkin. Stir in the cream, then season the sauce with the cinnamon and the hot sauce, nutmeg, salt and pepper, to taste.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-6 minutes more to thicken. Add a little extra pumpkin, if necessary, and stir in the sage. Toss with the pasta and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and enjoy!