Have you ever tried pumpkin spaghetti sauce? If not may I introduce this delectable rich sauce to you? It has fast become one of our favourite pasta sauces in this household. This pumpkin and bacon sauce is richly flavoured and creamy textured sauce with a good balance of sweetness from pumpkin as well as savouriness from bacon that coats spaghetti like a dream!
It was there. Tempting me the whole day. A serve of creamy, luscious pumpkin and bacon cream sauce slicked over strands of spaghetti. It was just the right combination of flavours, a bit sweet, a bit salty and very moreish. And just a lotta seductive. This Dear Reader is how I found myself eating dinner at 5pm, Mr NQN's arrival home completely ignored.
I first came across pumpkin pasta sauce when I was in Canada, in a gorgeous town called Niagara on the Lake. It's a an area teeming with tourists and there was a store that was doing a furious trade. They had samples of many of their items and one of them was pumpkin pasta sauce. It was smooth and delicious but I didn't have the luggage space to take it back. So I did what I usually do, took a photo of the ingredients label with the idea that I would recreate it back at home.
And then I forgot about it for over a year.
Then on a recent visit to Costco I came across pumpkin pasta sauce. It jogged my memory But I didn't want a bought one and I didn't want two jars of it just in case I didn't like their version. I also wanted to make my own. So I took a pic of the bottle and this time I didn't even wait a week. Within two days I was reserve engineering the pasta sauce and then sitting next to the bowl of pasta and wishing the time was 6:30pm and Mr NQN was home so we could eat together. Instead I ate it alone, slowly, strand by strand while watching the early news on television. Husband? What husband?
The two bottled pasta sauces didn't have bacon but if I can be firm, this sauce is pretty magical with it so don't skip it if you don't have to. Make bottles of this, give it to friends, share it around. Just make sure to try it if you love vegetable rich, creamy pasta sauces! And yes this is a pushy recipe!!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever eat dinner early because you can't wait to eat it? Have you ever tried pumpkin pasta sauce? And do you ever reverse engineer recipes?
Bacon & Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped (see tip below)
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 250g/8.83ozs bacon, finely chopped
- 2 cups pumpkin puree*
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup cream
- Salt, black pepper and a pinch of sugar to taste
- 400g/14.13ozs. spaghetti
You can use canned pumpkin but since it isn't easy to find in Australia I recommend making your own. Roast or steam your pumpkin until soft (I roast it on 180C/350F skin on and seeds inside and then pull skin and seeds out easily when cooked). Then puree in a food processor.
Tip: make use of your food processor and use it to chop up the mirepoix (onion, celery and carrot), the bacon and then make the pumpkin puree and tomato.
Step 1 - Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and saute until fragrant (don't rush this, you absolutely don't want the onion to taste raw in the sauce). Add the garlic and saute for another couple of minutes. Then turn the heat up to medium high and add the bacon and cook through until the bacon releases the fat.
Step 2 - While the sauce is cooking place the pasta onto the boil and cook until al dente. Then process the pumpkin and tomato in a food processor until smooth. When the bacon is cooked in the pan with the mirepoix, add the pumpkin and tomato puree and chicken stock. Simmer until flavours develop and add cream and seasoning - you will need to balance the sweetnes of the pumpkin with salt. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper and then add the drained pasta into the sauce and coat every strand with this luscious sauce.