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Extra creamy, Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto and Walnuts. A wonderful bowl of pasta that we can all be excited about this season. Rigatoni pasta tossed in a nutty brown butter pumpkin sauce made with plenty of parmesan cheese. The pumpkin adds a vibrant layer of flavor and is creamy and so delicious! And the candied prosciutto and walnuts add some nice crunch. Super delicious!

Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto and Walnuts |

It can be hard to know exactly what recipes are best to share in November. Of course, we all need fun, new, and yummy Thanksgiving recipes. But at the same time, I think we’re all looking for simple dinners to enjoy all of the other nights of this month!

I try my best to balance these needs. I also try to keep in mind that there are many of you who have Thanksgiving recipes that you make every single year. They are your tradition and you don’t stray from them. And I can totally appreciate and respect that!

Instead of sharing only Thanksgiving-focused recipes this month, I love to share simple fall dinners that we can make on any given night. This time of year is always the busiest.

My idea behind this pasta was pretty simple. I figured most of us are baking a lot with pumpkin this month. It’s kind of a November essential. With that in mind, I also figured that many of us probably have half a can of pumpkin sitting in the fridge. Maybe it’s leftover from making our pumpkin cookies and/or pumkin muffins. My guess is that you may be wondering how to use that can up.

Well, this pasta is the perfect recipe to make. You’ve already done pumpkin your baking, now it’s time to use the pumpkin in a savory way. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto and Walnuts |

The details

Step 1: make the prosciutto walnut crisp

I always start with cooking the prosciutto and walnuts since these need time in the oven. Use thin, deli-cut prosciutto. Tear the prosciutto into pieces and toss with a fresh handful of chopped walnuts, fresh rosemary, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper.

I use one teaspoon of cayenne, but if that’s too spicy for you, use the cayenne to your liking. Bake this mix until the prosciutto begins to crisp and caramelize.

When everything on the pan is “candied”, pull it out of the oven and season with flaky sea salt. You’ll want to eat them all just as is! These crispy pieces are so addictive.

Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto and Walnuts |

Step 2: make the pumpkin pasta

It’s all really quick to throw together!

Since we’re using pumpkin, I wanted to include a little sage. I just love the flavor blend of sage and pumpkin, especially with brown butter. So start out by crisping the garlic, shallots, and sage in butter. The butter will brown around the garlic and sage creating a really delicious base for your pumpkin sauce.

Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto and Walnuts |

Next, add chili flakes, for a little extra heat. Then stir in the canned pumpkin. Cook until the mix thickens up a bit.

Now stir in a splash of dry white wine. You could also use your favorite broth or unsweetened apple cider. Let everything simmer for a few minutes. Then add the cream and parmesan and let the sauce hang out for a bit.

Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto and Walnuts |

Step 3: boil the pasta

I love to use a rigatoni, but honestly, any cut of pasta will work. You can use what you have or what your family enjoys.

While the sauce is slowly cooking, bring the water to a boil. Cook according to the directions on the box. At this point, the sauce should be finished.

Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto and Walnuts |

Step 4: finish

Mix the cooked pasta and parmesan cheese into the pumpkin sauce. Stir until the cheese melts.

Now you can scoop up all that yummy pasta and sauce and serve with the prosciutto walnut crisps on top. Be super generous with the prosciutto and walnuts. I think they’re what makes this pumpkin pasta the most delicious.

Oh, and I like to serve this up with a big salad on the side – yum!

Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto and Walnuts |

Looking for other simple winter pasta dishes? Here are my favorites: 

Spicy Pesto Pasta Alla Vodka

Sage Butter Pumpkin Cheese Ravioli

One Pot Spicy Pesto Cheese Baked Rigatoni

One-Pan Cheesy Spaghetti Pie

Creamy Bacon Tortellini with Charred Broccoli

Sage Brown Butter Pumpkin Pasta Alfredo

Lastly, if you make this Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Quick Pumpkin Rigatoni with Candied Prosciutto and Walnuts

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 567 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. On the baking sheet, toss together the prosciutto, walnuts, brown sugar, cayenne, and rosemary. Arrange in an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes, toss, and bake another 5 minutes, watch closely until crispy.
    3. Meanwhile, make the pumpkin sauce. In a large skillet, melt together the butter, garlic, shallots, and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is browning and the garlic is turning golden, 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the pumpkin, and red pepper flakes, cook for 4-5 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the wine/broth, cook another 2 minutes, then stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the pasta. Cook according to package directions, until al dente. Just before draining, remove a cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
    5. Toss the pasta and parmesan cheese with the pumpkin sauce. If needed, thin the sauce with the reserved pasta cooking water. Divide among plates and top with candied prosciutto and walnuts.
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  1. This looks really delish! Would like to know if there’s a substitute for prosciutto as I don’t consume pork. Would using chicken and coating them in the same ingredients and baking em work?
    Also can I use water instead of broth/wine and fried herbs instead of fresh?

    1. Hi Nihala,
      I would use turkey bacon in place of the prosciutto, chicken isn’t going to work the same way:) Yes, water will also work for you! I hope you love this dish! xT

  2. 5 stars
    The flavor complexity of this dish is off the charts! It was so easy to make and it has to be one of the greatest pasta dishes I’ve ever made. I’ve been dipping into the sauce all week! Great recipe. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    1. Hey Brandon,
      Wonderful!! I appreciate you trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! So glad it was enjoyed:) xT

    1. Thank you SO much! I always love reading comments and seeing that the recipe was a success! Have a great day! 🙂 xT

  3. 4 stars
    Hi !
    I made this pasta tonight. Loved the texture. Very creamy. My only problem was it wasn’t pumpkiny tasting. I used Trader Joe’s pumpkin puree. Would Libby’s have worked better?
    Also, any suggestions for the leftover walnut/prosciutto topping?

    1. Hey Angela! Hmm I’ve never had the problem of it not tasting super pumpkiny! Also for the walnut mixture it would be so yummy on top of a salad with apples, feta, etc! You could also top it on brussels sprouts or another veggie! xT

    1. Hey Alexandra,
      Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for making this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it was a hit! xx

  4. 5 stars
    My daughter and I loved this recipe! She’s 2 so that’s a win. It’s simple to throw together and flavorful! We will definitely make it again.

    1. Hey Morgan,
      Wonderful!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for making it! Happy Thanksgiving! xT