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This pumpkin recipe (bolognese) may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my/our full disclosure further information.
October first. Do you know that means? Time for an influx of pumpkin recipes! For me, this means finding creative ways to use pumpkin in savory dishes, like pasta! This pumpkin bolognese recipe is equal parts delicious and easy. And it’s the perfect recipe for fall!
why you should make this pumpkin recipe
Out of all of the pumpkin recipes you’ll find this fall, I hope you find the time to make this one. Although I tend to be a purist when it comes to Italian dishes.. I couldn’t help but add pumpkin to this traditional Italian ragú. And you know what? I don’t regret it, not one bit! Bolognese is my absolute favorite, and the pumpkin in this recipe added the perfect taste to an otherwise classic. This pumpkin recipe is great because the pumpkin taste is subtle, yet undoubtably, fall. So, what are you waiting for? Go get that pumpkin!!
- Canned Pumpkin Purée – You can find canned pumpkin pretty much everywhere during this time of year. I always keep a few cans on hand. Make sure you purchase pure pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling!!
- Cinnamon – The cinnamon really plays up the pumpkin flavor in this dish. Don’t be afraid of this unique addition !
Do I really have to simmer it for an hour and a half?!
Listen, patience is not a virtue of mine. But, for this pumpkin recipe, you really ought to simmer the sauce for at least 45 minutes. It will just get better and better with time.. and plus, you can pour yourself another glass of wine while you wait!
Hey, where can I find your original bolognese recipe?
Right here, my friend!
What should I serve bolognese with?
I am so glad that you asked! Bolognese should never, ever be served with spaghetti. Please don’t fight me on this. My favorite ways to serve bolognese are with tagliatelle, pappardelle, or bucatini. However, if you’re a fan of short pastas, this pumpkin recipe could also be served with rigatoni or casarecce (a favorite of mine). If you want to skip pasta all together, I 100% support serving this on top of some creamy polenta.
Enjoy, and as always, please let me know if you make this recipe – and if you do, don’t forget to tag @seasonedandsalted and #seasonedandsalted on Instagram!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 5 tablespoons pumpkin purée
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound pasta (optional, for serving) (pick your favorite! I love Casarecce for this recipe).
- Heat the olive oil and butter in the pot or dutch oven until glistening. Add the onion and stir. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes until the onions start to turn translucent, stirring frequently.
- Next, add the carrot, celery, salt + pepper, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, and Italian seasoning blend. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for another 5-8 minutes. The vegetable mix should soften and brown around the edges.
- Add the ground beef and break it up into small pieces using a spoon. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook for 8-10 minutes, string frequently, until the meat is browned and cooked through.
- Stir in the pumpkin purée and cook for a minute. Make sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Next, add your wine and water. Taste and season accordingly – sometimes I add a little more salt or pepper at this time.
- Cover and bring the heat down to low. Cook for 1 – 1 ½ hours. It’s important that you cook the ragú over very, very low heat (like, as low as possible.) A great tip is to sort of push the pot so that it’s not fully on the burner. During this time, I also like to keep ¼ – ½ cup of water on hand in case the sauce starts to dry out (although I’ve only had to add a bit of water once). Better to be prepared! Stir every once in awhile – making sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom.
- Serve with your favorite pasta. Finish with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Fantastic over polenta!