This Creamy Pumpkin Cottage Cheese Pasta has the most luxuriously creamy sauce, thanks to pumpkin purée and cottage cheese! The sauce requires zero cooking – you just toss it with the hot pasta, and top the dish with delectable toasted garlic sage breadcrumbs. Another bonus – this pasta has an extra boost of protein thanks to its not-so-secret ingredient – cottage cheese! It’s a fall hug in a bowl.
As soon as September rolls around and I get a sense of that first little crispness in the air, I feel an immense amount of joy and nostalgia like no other time of year. Part of that joy comes from the food of course – all of the cozy recipes, warm spices, all things apple, chai, pumpkin, cozy soups and stews…I could go on and on.
Enough about fall talk – let’s talk about this cottage cheese pasta. 🙂
I brainstormed this recipe, partly because I found these adorable mezze rigatoni at the store, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect dish to use them in, and partly because the world’s obsession with cottage cheese is very real – and for good reason! You won’t believe how perfectly creamy it makes this sauce, without having to use heavy cream. You also get an extra boost of protein which I always welcome!
The toasted garlic sage breadcrumbs, oh my.
It’s no secret that I love a good breadcrumb topping. Exhibit A and B. These are beyond easy to make, and are the perfect addition to this creamy cottage cheese pasta. They give you that pleasant textural element that sometimes creamy pastas are missing. Plus, how can you go wrong with more garlic and fresh sage?!
On to the sauce.
All you need:
canned pumpkin purée
half & half
reserved pasta water
Sounds too good to be true, right? The best part is, no cooking is required. You just toss it with the hot pasta and you’re good to go!
Here’s a quick rundown of how to make this cottage cheese pasta (full recipe is in the recipe card below):
- Begin by making the breadcrumb topping. Melt butter and garlic in a skillet and sauté until fragrant. Pour half of the garlic butter mixture into your blender to use for the sauce. Place the skillet back on the stove and add your sage leaves, tossing in the garlic butter mixture until fragrant. Add your breadcrumbs and toast until golden brown and delicious! Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Start the sauce. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender with the exception of the pasta water.
- Cook your pasta. Don’t forget to reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water!
- Finish the sauce. Add the hot pasta water to the blender and blend until luxuriously smooth and creamy.
- Assemble. Add the pasta back into the pot, and pour the sauce over top. Stir until the pasta is perfectly coated. Portion into bowls and top with the toasted garlic sage breadcrumbs.
It comes together SO quickly, it looks impressive, it feels elegant, it’s incredibly delicious, and it tastes like a cool, crisp, fall evening. What more could you want?
If you love this recipe, you will also love:
Pumpkin Kale Lasagna
Green Olive Pasta with Toasted Lemon Breadcrumbs and Herbs
Hidden Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Garlic Brown Butter Breadcrumbs
Pumpkin Burrata Risotto
Braised Pork Ragu Pasta
Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
Creamy Butternut Squash Kale Pasta
Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Vodka Sauce
And don’t forget to share a photo on Instagram and tag me @spicesinmydna if you make this recipe! Nothing makes me happier than seeing what you create in the kitchen!
30 Minute Creamy Pumpkin Cottage Cheese Pasta
This Creamy Pumpkin Cottage Cheese Pasta has the most luxuriously creamy sauce, thanks to pumpkin purée and cottage cheese! The sauce requires zero cooking - you just toss it with the hot pasta, and top the dish with delectable toasted garlic sage breadcrumbs. Another bonus - this pasta has an extra boost of protein thanks to its not-so-secret ingredient - cottage cheese! It's a fall hug in a bowl.
For the toasted garlic sage breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
- 8 leaves fresh sage
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
For the pasta:
- 1 pound short-cut pasta (I like to use mezze rigatoni)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese (I use 2%)
- 1/4 cup half & half
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, add the garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds - 1 minute or until fragrant. Pour half of the garlic butter mixture into a blender. (This is the start of the sauce).
Return the skillet with the garlic butter to the stove over medium heat and add the sage. Sauté for another 30 seconds, until the leaves are fragrant and start to sizzle. Add the breadcrumbs. Toast for 3 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until breadcrumbs are nicely toasted and golden brown. Transfer breadcrumbs to a bowl to cool.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta and cook until al dente.
To the blender with the garlic butter, add the pumpkin, cottage cheese, half & half, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Once you're ready to drain the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and pour it into the blender for the final ingredient in the sauce. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste to season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Add the drained pasta back into the pot and pour the sauce over top. Stir to combine. Portion into bowls and top with the toasted garlic sage breadcrumbs. Enjoy!