Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil to a hot skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine as the butter melts. Add in the onion with a pinch of salt, and cook until softened and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. We like to start the water about 20-30 minutes or so before the sauce is done so that it can all come together at once. Once boiling, add salt and cook pasta for a few minutes under the package directions.
After the onion is mostly translucent, add in 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, the minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of dried sage, ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg to taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constnatly to prevent anything from burning until the tomato paste deepens in color and the garlic is nice and fragrant.
Pour in 1.5 cups of chicken broth to deglaze the pan, followed by the can of pumpkin puree. Stir to combine and add a good pinch of salt.
Next, stir in the half and half, followed by the ricotta cheese. Continue stirring until the sauce comes together and is nice and warm. If desired, you can use an immersion blender or regular blender to make the sauce nice and silky smooth. We highly recommend doing this, it makes the sauce so velvety smooth.
Add the cooked pasta directly into the sauce with a few ladles of pasta water, tossing gently to coat the noodles. Add more pasta water as needed to thin the sauce and to help the sauce cling to the noodles.
Serve right away, and top the pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and fried sage. Enjoy!
This pasta is most definitely enjoyed fresh, while it's nice and hot. However, it can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If stored separately, you can freeze the pumpkin pasta sauce for up to 6 months. We don't recommend freezing the sauce with the noodles. If possible, save some pasta water in a separate container in the fridge to help loosen up stiff noodles on the stovetop.