Recipe: Harvest Pasta Sauce

Fall in Love Again With The Flavors of Fall

Harvest Pasta Sauce is a 100% whole plant food recipe that’s vegan, oil-free, dairy-free, nutrient-rich, and so flavorful it will have you falling in love with fall over and over again. This recipe uses ingredients that are affordable and readily available throughout the fall season. While you may think red tomatoes or green basil are the only options for topping pasta or pizza appropriately, this sauce will prove you wrong.

Autumn’s orange fruits—including pumpkin, butternut squash, and carrots—are the stars of this sauce. You might be thinking—“Pumpkin on pasta, really?” But warning!—When you taste your first forkful of this delicious orange sauce you may just be hooked for life.

To make a large batch of harvest sauce that fills about 3 pasta sauce jars you want to pick a medium size pumpkin, a medium to large sized butternut squash, and four large carrots.

I used to think I had to cut open winter squashes like butternut and pumpkin before baking them. I used to struggle with the knife and the muscle in my hands and wrists to slice through the thick skinned fruits of fall, but no more! I have discovered through many years of squash baking that precutting your squash is not necessary, especially if you are using it in a soup or sauce recipe like this one. Just throw them right on the oven rack and bake. When they are thoroughly cooked with the perfect soft texture inside, they will slice open with little effort and you can easily scoop out the seeds with a big spoon.

When I baked these squash above I didn’t cut the butternut squash until after it was baked. Then it was soft and so easy to slice through.

I used a little pie pumpkin here and scooped these seeds out after baking. You can use a bigger pumpkin than this. If baking a pumpkin is too scary for you, or you want to go for greater ease, you can also use one can of pumpkin puree.

After I scoop the seeds from the squash I cut the flesh into large cubes which make it easy to scoop them out of the tougher skin and add them to the crockpot. The skin goes into the compost or waste bin. Now you can add your squash, carrots, onion, garlic, and tomato paste to the crockpot like I did below.

It might look like a mess at this step but as it cooks down the ingredients combine into this yumminess. I turn the crockpot on medium for 4 hours and let it simmer to perfection.

Once the carrots, squash, onion, and garlic are all soft and combining well, you can add the can of full fat coconut milk and the fresh herbs. How much you add may depend on the size of the leaves you select. Here I add two nice size fresh sage leaves and all the leaves off this twig of rosemary. I must say this was the perfect amount of fresh herbs to season this batch of Harvest Sauce to palate-pleasing perfection.

Next comes the blender! Transfer the contents of the crockpot into a heat-safe blender and blend away.

When the contents of the blender are smooth and well-combined, your sauce is ready to work magic on your pasta and pizzas.

Harvest Pasta Sauce goes great atop any type of pasta. I like mine served with fresh arugula or on top of a bed of lettuce. It is nice topped with minced fresh garlic, fresh basil, and fresh ground black pepper.

Harvest Pasta Sauce can also be Harvest Pizza Sauce. Here we made pita pizzas with our sauce just before Halloween time.

I like pitas as a pizza base because the ones I get from Trader Joes are oil-free unlike many other pre-made pizza crust options. Of course making your own oil-free crust out of flower, yeast, water, and salt would be delicious topped with this sauce too!

The best part about this homemade Harvest Pasta Sauce recipe is it makes enough to have more later, and trust me you’ll be glad you did it. This recipe made enough for four pita pizzas the first night and I was able to can two pasta jars full for later.

I shared one of these two jars with a friend who had it for dinner with her family the night I gave it to her and this is the text she wrote me that evening:

“The Harvest Sauce is sooo good. Andrew loved it too! Definitely adding it to my menu rotation! Creamy, flavorful, satisfying.”

My kids and I feel the same way! We have been enjoying tasting the flavors of fall on our pasta and pizzas. This sauce would also make a great base for a soup. I hope you enjoy bringing the classic orange fruits of fall to your through this recipe for Harvest Pasta Sauce.

Print Recipe
Recipe: Harvest Pasta Sauce
The flavorful fruits of fall combine to tantalize the tastebuds in this oil-free, vegan, whole food plant-based sauce that goes great on pasta, pizza, or as a base for a hearty soup.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Passive Time 3.5 hours
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Passive Time 3.5 hours
  1. Place whole pumpkin and butternut squash on oven rack and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until soft enough to cut through easily with a knife.
  2. Remove pumpkin and squash from oven. Cut in half and scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Scoop flesh of squashes into crockpot or to large pot on stovetop.
  3. Dice carrots into large chunks and add to crockpot or large pot.
  4. Peel onion and garlic bulbs, chop into large chunks, and add to pot.
  5. Add tomato paste, salt, pepper, cayenne and water to the pot. Set crockpot to medium and allow to cook for 3-4 hours or until carrots, onion, and garlic are soft.
  6. When contents of pot are all soft add fresh herbs and coconut milk, stir contents, and turn off heat. Cover pot and allow to sit for 30-60 minutes for flavors to absorb and for contents to cool.
  7. Add the contents of the pot to the blender and puree until smooth and well combined.
  8. Enjoy on top pasta, pizza, or as a soup base.
  9. Scoop any remaining sauce into clean empty jars and refrigerate for later use. Alternatively, freeze leftovers in tupperware containers.
Recipe Notes

Pumpkin puree can be substituted for whole pumpkin. Dried herbs can substitute for fresh herbs but fresh herbs produce optimal flavor. The amount of sauce this recipe makes will depend on the size of squash and carrots used. Adjust water and salt to your desired consistency.

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