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Easy Pumpkin Marinara Pasta with Whipped Cottage Cheese “Ricotta”

The crowning glory, of course, is the sneaky cottage cheese “ricotta”, dolloped all over the top of the dish. The heat from the pasta warms it up and it starts to melt ever so slightly, giving it a decadent creaminess that is perfect for a special meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: The Kitchen Prep


For Cottage Cheese "Ricotta"

  • 1 cup Friendship Dairies 4% Cottage Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Regiano or favorite grated Italian cheese

For Pumpkin Marinara

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced or grated
  • 14 ounces {½ of a large can} crushed tomatoes
  • cup pumpkin puree
  • 4-5 basil leaves torn {plus extra for topping}
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces rotini or your favorite pasta*
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano Regiano


  • In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring frequently.
  • Stir crushed tomatoes, pumpkin puree, basil and salt into the mixture and heat until simmering. Reduce heat to low and let it bubble for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente.
  • Make the "Ricotta": In the bowl of a food processor, process cottage cheese and grated cheese until smooth & ricotta-like.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it directly to the skillet containing the sauce; give it a gentle toss to coat the pasta.
  • Spoon cottage cheese "ricotta" in dollops over the top of the pasta. Sprinkle with extra Parmigiano and basil, if desired.


Adapted from Rosella Rago's Cavatelli with Tomato & Basil and Whipped Cottage Cheese "Ricotta" recipe.
*You can easily make this recipe for a larger crowd by doubling all the measurements.