Creamy Brown Butter Pumpkin Pasta

This might just be the ultimate autumn comfort food. Pumpkin purée gets cooked down in brown butter, before being combined with mascarpone, parmesan and warm spices to make the most delicious pasta sauce. Add some crispy herby breadcrumbs and you’ve got yourself a pretty wonderful pasta dish that comes together in less than 30 minutes. It’s incredibly indulgent but we all deserve a treat once in a while!

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 50g day-old bread
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, very thinly sliced (see Notes for substitutions)
  • 75g butter
  • 150g tinned or homemade pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 30g parmigiano reggiano
  • 300g dried pasta of choice


  1. Blitz the bread into coarse breadcrumbs using a food processor.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan set over a medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Add the chives and cook, stirring often, for a further minute, then transfer to a plate for later.
  3. Wipe out the pan, set it over a medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, it will bubble for a couple of minutes. As the bubbles die down, the milk solids will sink to the bottom and turn brown as they caramelise. When it gets to this stage, add the pumpkin purée and stir until well-combined. It will look split at first but after a minute or two of stirring, it will come together in a smooth paste.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, then add the dried sage and ground nutmeg and cook, stirring almost constantly, for a further minute.
  5. Add the mascarpone and stir to melt. Season well with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Cook your pasta in plenty of generously-salted water according to the package instructions, then drain, reserving 250ml of the pasta cooking water.
  7. Return the sauté pan to the stove over a medium heat. Add the drained pasta to the sauce, along with the parmigiano reggiano and half of the pasta cooking water. Toss over a medium heat until the sauce nicely coats the pasta, adding more pasta water as necessary (you’ll need more than usual as the sauce is quite thick).
  8. Divide between bowls, top with the crispy topping then serve – enjoy!


  1. Ordinarily, this amount of pasta would feed 3 but as it’s very, very rich, I think it serves 4 quite nicely.
  2. Instead of fresh chives, you could use fresh sage of rosemary. I recommend halving the amount.