To me, the beginning of fall signifies the time to indulge in all things pumpkin and carbs, thus inspiring this pasta dish with a creamy, pumpkin sauce. This cozy meal combines the savory-ness of cumin and garlic with the warmth of cinnamon and a little sweetness from brown sugar. This dish makes about four servings, so it’s perfect for a big, family-style dinner if you want to impress your roommates. It’s also a great dish for meal prepping, and easy to pop in the microwave between classes and enjoy in the subsequent days. 

Dominique D’Lima / Daily Nexus


  • ½ cup yellow onion (diced)
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup coconut milk 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 16 ounces dry pasta (I used rigatoni) 
  • ½ cup pasta water


  1. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Make sure to save ½ cup of pasta water. 
  2. Heat up olive oil in a pot over medium heat and add your onions and garlic. Stir fry for a few minutes or until fragrant. 
  3. Stir in pumpkin puree, coconut milk, pasta water, brown sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon and nutritional yeast.
  4. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes and then taste and adjust.
  5. Remove from heat, mix in pasta and enjoy!

I topped mine with black pepper and red pepper flakes and served with air fried broccoli and tofu! Roasted carrots, brussel sprouts or cauliflower would also compliment this dish nicely.

A version of this article was featured on p. 14 of the October 28, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.