A healthy, quick and easy dinner to whip up – pappardelle and sweet potato noodles are tossed in a nutrient-packed pumpkin basil marinara sauce.
Is everyone sick of pumpkin yet? I sure hope not, because today I’m sharing the recipe for this Easy Pumpkin Basil Marinara Sauce with Pappardelle and Sweet Potato Noodles, and it is all kinds of delicious.
Our lives are about to become a bit upended. The holidays are fast approaching, which means family visiting, kids out of school, and more parties and events than we can comfortably handle (but not like that stops us.) In a time of such indulgence and celebration, it’s important for us to stay rooted and focused on things that keep us sane, like home-cooked dinners full of nutritious foods, evenings spent at the kitchen table connecting with those who matter most.
This Easy Pumpkin Basil Marinara Sauce with Papperdelle and Sweet Potato Noodles is the perfect, quick and healthy dinner to get us through these crazy times, to serve in those rare moments when we have a night with no open houses or company holiday parties. It’s full of nutrients, yet comforting and “homey” at the same time. The kind of meal your family will love without knowing it’s actually good for them!
The other great news is that this meal can be customized in sooo many different ways, for any sort of diet. It’s already vegetarian, but to make it vegan, just use a vegan pasta or omit the pasta altogether and double up on the sweet potato noodles. If you (or anyone in your family) is like my husband and needs some sort of protein with his meal, throw on a grilled chicken breast or shrimp. Gluten-free? Again, just sub in brown rice pasta or more sweet potato noodles. The possibilities are endless!
I also (shamefully) realized when getting this post ready that this is the first recipe I’ve shared here on CGC featuring spiralized vegetables. This is so crazy to me because we literally probably spiralize vegetables in some form or another for dinner at least one night a week. It’s usually in the form of zucchini, tossed with whatever vegetables we have on hand and some sort of lean protein.
There are endless possibilities for spiralizing, and if you’re curious about other ways you can use the technique, just head on over to Ali Maffuci’s blog, Inspiralized. She is the QUEEN of spiralizing and always has such great ideas. I’ve followed her for quite some time now and, although there are tons of options out there these days, hers is the brand of spiralizer we use. We’ve also bought it as a gift for just about everyone we know (ahem, Christmas is just around the corner!), and it’s always received rave reviews. If you need to pick one up for yourself and 20 of your closest friends, click here!
But let’s get back to this Easy Pumpkin Basil Marinara Sauce with Pappardelle and Sweet Potato Noodles! Because I’m pretty sure you should just make it tonight for dinner. You might also already have most of the ingredients on hand. Canned, crushed tomatoes, pumpkin puree, sweet, potatoes, pasta…all items that are likely living in your pantry around this time of year. The only fresh items you’ll want to go out and grab are a couple of tomatoes and a big bunch of fresh basil. Dinner will be ready before you know it!
I used a deep sauté pan to make the sauce (this is the exact one I used, which I have to say is one of my FAVORITE types of cooking vessels to have on hand) so I could just throw in the sweet potato noodles and cooked pappardelle and serve everything out of the one pan. So easy!
I cooked the pappardelle until al dente, but I threw in the sweet potato noodles raw and just let them simmer in the sauce for a little bit.
Once you have the sauce cooked and the noodles added, simply serve as is or top with your favorite protein (meatballs, anyone?) A little crusty bread on the side never hurt either 😉
Easy Pumpkin Basil Marinara Sauce with Pappardelle and Sweet Potato Noodles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot minced
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1 28- ounce can unsalted crushed tomatoes
- 1 15- ounce can pumpkin
- ¼ cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup diced sweet potato optional – I used the leftover “nubs” from spiralizing the sweet potato noodles
- 8 ounces pappardelle
- 2 sweet potatoes spiralized
- In a large, deep sauté pan, warm olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is warm, add shallot and garlic. Saute until mixture starts to turn translucent and fragrant (about 5 minutes) then add diced tomato. Stir to combine.
- Add crushed tomatoes, pumpkin, red wine, brown sugar, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to pan. Stir to combine, then stir in basil and diced sweet potato (if using.) Bring to a heavy simmer, stirring occasionally.
- While sauce is simmering, cook the pappardelle. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add pappardelle. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until al dente. Strain immediately and set aside.
- Add spiralized sweet potato to the marinara sauce simmering on the stove. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, and then add pappardelle, simmering for an additional 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and serve immediately.
- Wine Pairing Notes: Marinara pairs wonderfully with many heavier red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or an Italian red such as Barbera or Sangiovese. In all honesty, this dish will probably pair best with whatever wine you use to cook with, so don’t go for the super-cheap stuff!
- Feel free to use all sweet potato noodles or all pappardelle if you don't want to mix the two.
- Serve with grilled chicken, shrimp or meatballs if you're looking for a bit of protein in your meal.
- Kids will love this recipe, too! (And they won't even know how nutritious it is.)
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Pumpkin – it’s what’s for dinner!
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