Creamy Pumpkin Marinara

This sauce just happened to be made. I just popped open the fridge and found a jar of leftover pumpkin purée and some diced tomatoes. They reminded me of an Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce that I purchased from Trader Joe’s last year.

For this dish, “Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce” would be a better fit since it doesn’t have a strong pumpkin flavor. But it’s a mouthful!

With a touch of spice, this sauce has a fall flavor. The taste of the bell pepper really comes through, so leave it out for a more pumpkin-like sauce. Since pumpkin spice flavor is more about the spice than the pumpkin, you might also want to add more cinnamon. While pumpkin doesn’t have a strong flavor, it does add some creamless creaminess to this blended sauce.

Similar to mac and cheese in comfort, but with more vegetables, is this sauce. It’s the ideal method to stay warm on a chilly fall night. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Please comment and let me know how it goes.

Also read: Sweet Potato, Kale and Chickpea Soup


  • Olive oil, extra virgin, two tablespoons
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper, divided into 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 minced or pressed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, ground
  • 1 can (15 ounces) (15 ounces) crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) (15 ounces) squash puree
  • 2-3 teaspoons of butter
  • A teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • For garnish, top with freshly chopped parsley and finely grated Parmesan (both optional)


  1. Over medium heat, warm the olive oil in a big skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt once it begins to shimmer. Cook the onions and pepper for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are very soft.
  2. Include the cinnamon, oregano, tarragon, and garlic. Cook while stirring for approximately a minute or until aromatic. While stirring, simmer the tomatoes for 1 minute. Stir in the pumpkin purée after adding it. After five minutes of simmering, turn off the heat.
  3. Transfer the mixture to your blender with care. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon butter. Blend until extremely creamy and smooth.
  4. Add a lot of freshly ground black pepper and more salt (I normally add an additional 1/4 teaspoon salt). Add another tablespoon of butter for a richer sauce or another teaspoon of vinegar for a more nuanced sour flavor. To mingle, blend.
  5. Add to the hot spaghetti. Sprinkle chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan over top before serving.