This Pumpkin Cacio e Pepe recipe is the perfect fall pasta dish! This pasta recipe is a twist on the classic Roman pasta dish, with a fall spin!
It’s starting to feel like fall, and that means it’s time for all the fall pasta recipes! I love everything pumpkin right now, and that definitely applies to pasta.
Adding pumpkin to cacio e pepe gives it a nutty, rich flavor that isn’t too overpowering. I promise!
I’ve been inspired with all of the pumpkin flavors lately. I wanted to bring a fun twist to one of my favorite pasta dishes, and wow, is this dish delicious!
If you’ve never had cacio e pepe - it translates to ‘cheese and pepper’ from Italian. It’s literally just that! Pasta water, black pepper, cheese, and pasta. The pasta water helps melt the cheese into a sauce. It’s truly so simple and so delicious.
So why not add some fall spark to this pasta dish? Adding pumpkin puree to the base of the sauce gives this dish a fall feel and so much delicious flavor! And don’t forget crispy sage leaves for serving, it’s one of my favorite parts of the dish!
Pumpkin Cacio e Pepe Ingredients
- Pasta - I recommend long pasta, such as spaghetti, linguine, or pappardelle. I used pappardelle in the photos for this recipe.
- Pasta Water - The secret ingredient of a perfect cacio e pepe.
- Butter - Unsalted.
- Freshly Cracked Black Pepper - If you don’t have a pepper grinder, this is your sign to get one! What are you waiting for?!
- Pumpkin Puree - I use canned.
- Pecorino Romano - The classic cheese used in cacio e pepe. You can find this at an Italian grocery store or a market with a good cheese selection.
- Crispy Sage Leaves - Fry up some sage in olive oil until crispy before starting this recipe and set aside to serve on top of the pasta! Trust me - don’t skip out on this.
First, cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. I try to remind you in every pasta recipe - salt your water!!
When the pasta is about cooked, reserve two cups of pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the black pepper, pumpkin puree, and 1 cup of pasta water. Gently whisk until combined.
Remove from heat and add in the pasta. Slowly add in Pecorino Romano cheese, stirring quickly so everything is combined. If the sauce seems dry or not “saucy” enough, add 1 tablespoon of pasta water at a time until the sauce reaches a silky consistency.
Top with additional Pecorino Romano and crispy sage leaves. Serve and enjoy!
Here’s some kitchen equipment I recommend for this recipe. You can buy all of the following products on Amazon.
Large Skillet - I have this large skillet and love it. I use this almost every single day. It’s durable, perfect for a wide variety of dishes, and it’s oven safe. Investing in a great skillet will help level up your cooking.
Pappardelle - I love pappardelle - it's perfect for cacio e pepe and is so delicious in this recipe. If you're never had it before, check out this brand on Amazon - it's one of my favorites.
Canned Pumpkin - Pumpkin can be so hard to find in grocery store during the fall since everyone is baking. If you can't find it at your local store, check out this brand on Amazon!
Here are a few substitutions you could make for this recipe:
- Pumpkin: If you can’t find or don’t like canned pumpkin puree, you can substitute pureed roasted butternut squash for this recipe.
- Pecorino Romano: If you can’t find pecorino Romano cheese, I recommend using grana Padano cheese for this recipe, as it has similar melting properties.
- Gluten free: You can use gluten free pasta for this recipe. You can still use the pasta water, so make sure you don’t skip that step.
- Crispy Sage: If you don’t like or cannot find sage, basil would make a great garnish substitution for this dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Serve cacio e pepe with a light salad, roasted vegetables, and your favorite wine.
Cacio e Pepe translates to 'cheese and pepper.' This dish is so simple that it's ingredients are the name of the pasta!
Cacio e pepe is traditionally made with only cheese, pepper, and pasta water. Carbonara includes those ingredients but also adds eggs to the pasta. It is also usually topped with crispy pancetta.
More Pasta Recipes
We have plenty of pasta recipes here at Tasting with Tina! Check out some of our favorites below!
15 Minute Vodka Sauce - I love Vodka sauce, and this 15 minutes recipe is so easy! You'll want to make this one again and again.
Pasta Primavera - This pasta primavera recipe is anything but boring. It has feta, tons of vegetables, and a little bit of spice. I love this one year round!
Pumpkin Pasta Carbonara - If you want all the pumpkin pasta, try this cozy pumpkin pasta carbonara next! It's so delicious and unique.
Pumpkin Cacio e Pepe
- 1 lb pasta
- 2 cups pasta water
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper plus more for serving
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese plus more for serving
- 10 Crispy sage leaves for serving
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook until al dente. Reserve two cups of pasta water before draining and setting aside.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add black pepper, pumpkin puree and 1 cup of pasta water. Whisk until combined.
- Remove from heat and add in the cooked pasta. Slowly add pecorino Romano cheese, stirring quickly so everything is combined. If the sauce is dry, add reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time to create a sauce.
- Top with additional pecorino Romano and serve with crispy sage leaves.