Add a burst of fall flavor to homemade pizza or bowls of cooked pasta with this easy-to-make sage-infused pumpkin sauce.
Infused with fresh sage and seasoned with just the right balance of tangy vinegar, spicy dried chile flakes, and cream, it's the perfect base for autumnal pizzas and pastas. Try it on a not-so-basic cheese pizza with shredded cheddar instead of mozzarella. Or, top it with bacon or cooked sausage, gruyere, and ribbons of blanched lacinato (dinosaur) kale.
How to Make Pumpkin Pizza and Pasta Sauce
Time needed: 10 minutes
Once you learn how to make this simple sauce, you'll want to make it all the time. Here's the step-by-step process
- Infuse some butter with sage.
Melt a couple tablespoons of butter, add whole fresh sage leaves, and let them sizzle until your kitchen smells amazing.
- Stir in the other ingredients.
Remove the sage leaves from the saucepan (save them for garnishing your finished pizza or pasta dish). Add a can of pumpkin puree, a pressed or minced garlic clove, and some cream, vinegar, chile flakes, and grated cheese (optional). Cook, stirring constantly, just until the sauce is uniform in color and heated through.
If you're using the sauce for pasta, it's ready to go! If you're making pizza, let the sauce cool to about room temperature before you slather it on the stretched-out dough. (When you top raw dough with hot sauce, the dough will almost certainly stick to your pan or pizza peel.)
Pumpkin Pizza and Pasta Sauce
- Wooden spoon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 leaves fresh sage
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (or 2 cups homemade pumpkin or winter squash puree)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes
- ⅓ cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, optional (grate it yourself by pulsing a chunk of pecorino, parmesan, or other hard cheese in the food processor)
- Kosher salt
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the whole sage leaves. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sage begins to curl, then use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the sage from the butter. (Use the fried sage leaves as a garnish for your finished pizza or pasta dish.)
- Stir in the pumpkin, garlic, cream, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and grated cheese (if using). Stir until the sauce is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or cream. Taste and season with a pinch or two of salt.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir the hot sauce into cooked pasta; let the sauce cool to about room temperature before spreading on raw pizza dough.
Looking for more pizza sauce recipes? Click here to browse Thursday Night Pizza's most popular sauces.
In search of fall pizza recipes? Click here for inspiration!