Baked Ziti with Pumpkin Creamy Basil Sauce + Sage Breadcrumbs
Looking for new ways to introduce pumpkin this fall? We’ve got you covered! This unique baked ziti with pumpkin tomato sauce and sage breadcrumbs is a real crowd pleaser and comes together in just 30 minutes. Feel free to use the Creamy Basil or 10 veggie versions of Not Just Pasta Sauce - they are both delicious here!
Here, we simply add pumpkin and ground sausage to our Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce and top with sage Gruyère breadcrumbs before baking until bubbly! The result is a kitchen that smells like Fall and the coziest sweater weather dinner.
PS don’t forget to reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining your noodles!
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
16 oz ground mild Italian sausage
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup minced sage
1 cup grated Gruyère or Comte cheese
1 (14oz) can pumpkin puree
1 cup ricotta
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack 6-inches from the broiler element and one rack in the middle position. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt (don’t be bashful here)! Add the pasta and cook until very al dente, about 5 minutes, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a medium spoon, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, add the panko and olive oil and stir to coat the panko with the oil. Add the sage, grated cheese, and ¼ teaspoon salt and stir until evenly incorporated.
In a large bowl, whisk the Not Just Creamy Basil Pasta Sauce, pumpkin puree, ricotta, egg, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add the al dente pasta and reserved pasta water and stir to coat. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish, top with the panko mixture and bake for 20 minutes until warmed through and bubbly.
- Set the oven to broil and transfer the dish to the prepared top rack. Broil on high for about 3 minutes, monitoring, until golden brown.