Thanksgiving Test Kitchen Favorite: Baked Pumpkin Ziti

Our fall twist on classic baked ziti uses zucca—pumpkin-shaped pasta.

Sfoglini in Brooklyn, New York. The “pumpkins” stuff themselves naturally when tossed, making them ideal for this dish’s rich, creamy pumpkin-flavored sauce. Can’t find zucca? Simply substitute ziti or penne pasta instead. Once they taste this dish, we trust that your guests won’t mind.

Be sure your zucca is al dente—still firm to the bite—after boiling. It will finish cooking in the oven.

1 sprig rosemary
1 shallot
8 ounces pasta (zucca or ziti)
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
14 ounces pumpkin purée
8 ounces vegetable broth
2 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 sprig sage


1. Prepare Ingredients
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Finely chop sage and rosemary leaves, discarding all stems. Peel shallot and mince.

2. Cook Ziti
Add ziti and a generous pinch salt to pot of boiling water and cook until just al dente, about 6 minutes (see Recipe Tip). Drain and set aside.

3. Sauté Aromatics
While ziti cooks, heat butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium high-sided ovenproof pan over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add as much crushed red pepper as desired, sage, rosemary, and shallot and sauté until shallot is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.

4. Simmer Sauce
Add pumpkin purée and vegetable broth to pan with aromatics. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

5. Assemble and Bake Ziti
Add ziti to pan with sauce and stir to combine. Stir in pecorino. Sprinkle over mozzarella, transfer to oven, and bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 7—10 minutes.

6. Plate Ziti
Share your baked pumpkin ziti with friends and family.


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