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Pumpkin Bolognese, or Pumpkin with Ragu Bolognese

Pumpkin Bolognese, or Pumpkin with Ragu Bolognese


For the fall decoration of my house I bought a variety of pumpkins: large and small, round and elongated, orange and green, sweet and not so much.

I arranged them in my kitchen and dining room. But every day, or every other day, I’m destroying my decorations as I am picking one pumpkin for cooking. So over the last couple weeks, almost everything I cooked was made with pumpkins. And, I have to say, we (my husband and I) are still not tired of these winter squashes. Perhaps, this is because the dishes are so different in taste and presentation. I already cooked a pumpkin soup, a salad, pumpkin pancakes, stuffed pumpkin, and now – Pumpkin Bolognese.

For this wonderful dish I used leftovers from our pasta dinner. I was pleased, that my Pumpkin Bolognese immediately became our favorite winter squash creation.

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Pumpkin Bolognese, or Pumpkin with Ragu Bolognese


4-6 servings


  • 1 small sugar pumpkin or butternut (or 2 acorn squashes)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey, chicken, lamb, or pork)
  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
  • ¼ cup red or white wine (optional)
  • 1 can (14-16 oz) canned tomatoes, chop tomatoes, if need
  • 2-3 tsp pasta or Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or ½ tsp red hot pepper flakes
  • Olive oil for cooking 




For the sauce Bolognese, or Ragu Bolognese:

In a deep skillet or a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and slightly golden.

Add the garlic and cook for 30-45 seconds.

Add the ground meat. Cook until the meat is cooked through, stirring often and breaking up lumps.

Stir in the carrot and spices.

Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes with their juice, 1-2 tablespoons of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.


For the pumpkin:

Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds. Cut the pumpkin into ½ – ¾” thick slices.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil, add the pumpkin slices, sprinkle them with salt and pepper and cook on each side: the slices should become slightly golden, a knife should go easily into the pumpkin, and the slices should remain firm. Cooking time depends on the type of pumpkin.

Alternatively, roast the pumpkin slices in the oven: mix the slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven at 425 F for about 25-35 minutes.


Arrange the pumpkin slices on a plate, pour some sauce on top or on a side, sprinkle with fresh herbs or chives (or green onions), and add grated parmesan or parmesan flakes (if you wish to do so).

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  • Note:

Pasta sauce could be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator.


Cook with pleasure!


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