Wednesday 2 November 2022


Here I will say it: I am not a big fan of Halloween (I guess I dress up in my particular way every day so I don't like to pretend to be someone else?!!)...controversial I know! Especially as everything Halloween related seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year!

However, I do enjoy cooking with pumpkin a lot and always make the most of when canned pumpkin puree is widely available in London around Halloween and Thanksgiving time which meant I simply HAD TO make this twist on a vodka pasta sauce (usually made using a tomato base) with pumpkin, herbs and chilli flakes when I stumbled across this recipe whilst searching for a sophisticated, yet quick to make Friday supper.

Don't be put off by the addition of the vodka, in fact it rather strangely works wonders to elevate flavours and a real depth to the sauce for a real wow factor.

A vibrant, seasonal pasta dish that packs a punch and is super quick to make, what is not to love!!!



  • 400g pasta of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped 
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated 
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage leaves 
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more serving150ml vodka 
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup single cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley 
  • 1 lemon, zested 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to the package instructions. 
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water for later.
  • Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add in the olive oil. 
  • Add in the shallots and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until they begin to turn golden-brown. 
  • Then add in the garlic, thyme, sage and pepper flakes and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Stir in the vodka, pumpkin puree, single cream and pasta water. 
  • Once thoroughly combined, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • When the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat, add in the parsley, lemon zest and grated Parmesan, and toss in the cooked pasta.
  • Serve with additional grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes.

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