Pumpkin isn’t just for pie and lattes–it’s great in savory fall dishes! This rich and creamy Pumpkin Ricotta Pasta Bake is a cozy baked dish with pumpkin, ricotta, spinach and rounded out with a touch of oregano. Great comfort food for a warm family dinner.
Pumpkin Ricotta Pasta: Pumpkin is not just for Pumpkin Spice Lattes
This past weekend, fall weather came in strong and full on. We had several days of cold rain and it really got me excited for cozy nights in, soup, chili, and warm drinks. I busted out the crock pot Saturday to make some of my fave Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili and we have been enjoying leftovers through the first days of cold.
However, we are in Cincinnati so while its barely 60 degrees right now, we will be back in the 80s by the end of the week. Who knows maybe it will snow as well–that’s how it goes around here!
I went wild last week on all of the pumpkin recipes as you may have noticed in the newsletter. The only thing is that they were all sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining but truth be told, you need to have savory pumpkin recipes as well! Soups, pastas, hummus, and plenty other savory recipes are great recipes to add pumpkin to.
To be fair, I wasn’t always a fan of non-sweet pumpkin recipes. I turned my nose up at several fall specials at restaurants and thought who would have pumpkin in a dish that’s not pie!? But then I had a pumpkin ricotta ravioli at dinner one night and was sold. The combo was made for each other.
Pumpkin and Ricotta is a winning combination
One taste of the rich, creamy combo of pumpkin and ricotta and you will forget everything, too. You often see savory pumpkin recipes with sage, which is amazing to season them with but I opted for oregano. Love, love loved the flavor it added to this pumpkin ricotta pasta but I will most likely make this at one point with sage to test it out as well.
I make a lot of tomato based pasta dishes but I have a feeling fall is gonna be full of this creamy goodness to change things up a bit. A butternut squash pasta dish would be another great option. I feel like I have been seeing a lot of mac and cheese recipes with butternut squash so that may be the place to start!
So tell me, what kind of savory pumpkin dishes do you love? Now that I am hooked I want to know!
What you need to make this Pumpkin Ricotta Pasta Bake:
- pasta: I used rotini. You could use shells or penne for sure.
- ricotta cheese: I am a big fan of the real deal–whole milk ricotta. For the best flavor it is definitely what I recommend. But you can use a lower fat version if desired.
- mozzarella: The more cheese the better, right?!
- pumpkin: Canned pumpkin is super simple and well priced during fall. One more thing to love about fall!
- egg: This helps bind the pasta bake together well.
- baby spinach
- milk or cream: either is great. Go with what you prefer.
- olive oil
- oregano: I love the use of oregano versus sage which would be more likely paired with pumpkin. To change it up you could always add a bit of each.
- crushed red pepper
- nutmeg: Just a tiny pinch is all you need, but don’t skip it!
- 8 oz. rotini pasta
- 1 c ricotta cheese
- 1 c shredded mozzarella
- 1 can pumpkin, 15 oz. (or about 2- 2 1/2 c)
- 1 egg
- 1 shallot, diced small
- 2 c fresh baby spinach
- 2 T milk or cream(optional)
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cook pasta according to box directions.
While pasta is cooking, whisk egg in a medium bowl. Add ricotta and pumpkin and stir until smooth and creamy. (If ricotta is very thick, add in milk or cream to make the pumpkin mixture creamier.)
Add in shallot, garlic and spices and stir to combine.
When pasta is cooked, drain and then toss with spinach to wilt.
Add pasta to the pumpkin ricotta mixture and stir well to coat all of the rotini. Pour into a small to medium greased casserole dish or a 9x9 greased pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until slight bubbling.
Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Cool for several minutes before serving.