Rigatoni with Sherried Pumpkin Sauce by Mom De Cuisine

My son has spent over half of his life living abroad. My daughter over one-third. Occasionally I feel guilty for the things they’ve missed out on not growing up in the States like my husband and I. At my daughter’s four-year check up last year, the doctor was doing the routine screening, asking routine questions. What’s your name? Can you spell it? Good. Where’s your nose? Can you tap it? Good. Can you tell me which one is a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter? You don’t know???

My daughter didn’t know anything about American currency (but ask her about Bahraini Dinars, Thai Bhat, or the Euro and she’s a pro!) We don’t watch fire works on the Fourth of July on picnic blankets; we don’t spend crisp fall afternoons picking pumpkins for carving. But in the experiences that my kids miss, we hope that we have more than made up in experiences of the world. They’ve eaten pad Thai in Thailand, they’ve dune bashed in Dubai. And it’s in the experiences, both foreign and familiar that we (somewhat optimistically) hope have made for a colorful life. And that’s what this rigatoni is: the familiar taste of fall back home with the best sherry of Andalucía, our new home. The old and the new into a hybrid of a colorful dish.

Rigatoni with Sherried Pumpkin Sauce

Rigatoni Sherried Pumpkin Sauce Recipe

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party, Formal Party


  • 1lb Dried Rigatoni
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2lb Pancetta
  • 1 Large Onion (Chopped)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (Chopped)
  • handful Fresh Thyme (divided)
  • 1/3 cup Dry Sherry (good quality)
  • 15oz Pumpkin Puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Rigatoni with Sherried Pumpkin Sauce


Step 1
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil

Step 2
While the water comes to a boil, heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta in an even layer, browning on both sides. Remove to a paper towel (work in batches if necessary)
Step 3
Add onions to the oil the pancetta cooked in and sautee for 3 minutes, or until they soften. Add garlic and half of the thyme leaves and sautee 2 minutes more.

Step 4
Once the water has come to a boil, cook rigatoni according to package directions. Drain, setting the pasta water aside.

Step 5
While the pasta cooks, add sherry to the onion mixture and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
Step 6
Add the pumpkin puree and red pepper flakes if using to the sherry/onion mixture.
Step 7
Add the reserved pasta water to the pumpkin sauce, half a cup at a time until the sauce has reached your desired consistency. Toss the rigatoni in the sauce, adding more liquid if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

To Serve
Step 8
Add pancetta to the pasta and toss. Garnish with the remaining thyme.
The written and photographic in this article are reference and redaction from http://momdecuisine.net/2013/10/31/rigatoni-with-sherried-pumpkin-sauce/