Roasted butternut & mascarpone pasta sauce with mushrooms

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Roasted butternut & mascarpone pasta sauce with mushrooms recipe with pumpkin seeds and crspy brown butter sage leaves

Roasted butternut and mascarpone make the most delicious and velvety creamy sauce to coat pasta. Serve this with pan-fried mushrooms, toasted pumpkin seeds, crispy sage and Parmesan for a cosy autumnal treat.

A refreshing change from the ubiquitous tomato or cream-based sauce varieties, this recipe is adapted from my first cookbook. I included fried bacon and crispy prosciutto in the original rendition.

Here, for the sake of keeping it vegetarian, I have topped it with toasted pumpkin seeds and crispy fried sage leaves. It is so delicious!

A bowl of roasted butternut & mascarpone pasta sauce with mushrooms

Why this roasted butternut and mascarpone sauce works?

This is one of my all-time favourite pasta recipes and I can just spoon the sauce right out of the pan.

Roasting the butternut until the edges are caramelised gives them a delicious and intense flavour. I cut the pieces quite small so as to maximise this.

step by step photso on how to make roasted butternut and mascarpone pasta sauce

Using a mix of mushrooms such as Portobello, porcini, shitake, and enoki gives this pasta sauce an amazing umami flavour which balances out the sweetness of the butternut sauce.

Pan-frying the mushrooms in butter and thyme adds an earthy nutty flavour.

Mascarpone is essentially triple cream so this adds an amazing richness and silky texture. Although quite a calorie intense, it’s worth every one of them as a special treat. Use anywhere from 150 – 200 grams. This will depend on the size of your butternut. 

Parmesan cheese adds a salty dimension and obviously incredible flavour. Add bacon or crisped-up prosciutto as per my original recipe and as per the instructions below for an even more savoury flavour.

I love to use roasted pumpkin seeds with this recipe to add delicious crunch. Pumpkin seeds and butternut squash go perfectly together.

Sage leaves fried in butter are one of my all-time favourite herb garnishes and is perfect with butternut squash in this recipe. Drizzle over some of the brown sage butter to take this pasta to another indulgent but very delicious level.

Roasted butternut tagliatelle with crispy bacon and mushrooms

If you are adding bacon, I suggest cooking it until crispy and adding it right at the end. Mix half into the sauce and half scattered over the top for a lovely crunchy texture. Decorate with oven-baked shards of crispy prosciutto.

For the mushrooms, I use a mix of portobello, porcini and shiitake mushrooms because I love their slightly chewy texture and meaty flavour, but any mushrooms will work well.

How to make roasted butternut & mascarpone pasta sauce with mushrooms

First, cut the butternut into small pieces and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Scatter over a few sprigs of thyme (you can just add them in whole here) and roast in an oven that has been preheated to 200C/400F until the edges are starting to caramelise.

Slice and pan-fry the mushrooms with butter and thyme until brown on the edges.

Pan fried mixed mushrooms for roasted butternut and mascarpone pasta sauce recipe

Add the cooked butternut to a food processor with the mascarpone and one cup of stock and blitz until smooth.

Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.

Fry the sage leaves in butter if you are using these. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

step by step pics on how to make roasted butternut sauce with mascarpone for pasta

You want to time things so they more or less finish together.

Add the creamy butternut sauce mixture to the pan with the fried mushrooms and heat through. Adjust seasoning and add black pepper.

roasted butternut squash with mascarpone sauce added to a pan with cooked tagliatelle pasta

Add the drained pasta to the sauce. If necessary add a splash of pasta cooking water to loosen, but there should be more than enough sauce.

Serve with loads of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds and crispy fried sage leaves.

What to serve as a starter to this roasted butternut pasta:

The following dishes would be perfect entrees to this roasted butternut and mascarpone pasta dish. 

This Melon, mozzarella and parma ham salad would be a light and bright starter.

A classic Panzanella salad is always a good idea to kick off an Italian-inspired feast. Add burrata to make it more substantial.

Nectarine and mozzarella salad with basil vinaigrette.

Nectarine, feta and mozzarella salad with basil vinaigrette recipe with mint and walnuts on a platter

What desserts to serve with this pasta:

The following desserts would be a fabulous end to this Italian feast:

Amarula tiramisu gives the classic Italian dessert a South African twist.

Raspberry & limoncello ice cream is a light and refreshing dessert to end an Italian meal.

Berry cheesecake with nut crumble is a delicious dessert to make in advance for a dinner party.

An easy no-bake berry cheesecake with almond crumble served in glasses

A few other pasta recipes you might like:

Creamy pasta with artichokes and lemon

My best pasta recipes

Roasted butternut & mascarpone pasta sauce with mushrooms recipe with pumpkin seeds and crspy brown butter sage leaves served in 2 bowls

Recipe serves 2

Roasted butternut & mascarpone pasta sauce with mushrooms

A luscious an silky pasta sauce made with roasted butternut and mascarpone served with pan-fried mushrooms, Parmesan, roasted pumpkin seeds and Parmesan cheese.
Print Recipe
Roasted butternut & mascarpone pasta sauce with mushrooms recipe with pumpkin seeds and crspy brown butter sage leaves
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes


  • 1 medium butternut peeled and diced fairly small (about 4 heaped cups)
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt  & freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 gms-200gms mascarpone
  • 250 ml 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 30 gms butter
  • 300 gm mixed mushrooms of your choice such as shiitake porcini, enoki, Portobello, sliced
  • 1 stalk of fresh thyme and 2tsp of stripped thyme leaves
  • 300- 350 gms dried tagliatelle pasta or other long pasta of your choice
  • Freshly grated Parmesan to serve
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds to serve optional
  • Fried sage leaves to serve optional
  • Salt & black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400F.  Place the butternut and garlic on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, coating well. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until caramelised and tender.
  • Blend the butternut, mascarpone and stock in a food processor or blender until smooth. Adjust the seasoning.
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until they just start to caramelise (about 4 minutes). Add the thyme and cook for another minute or two.
  • Add the puréed butternut mixture to the mushrooms and stir through.
  • Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente and drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Add the cooked pasta to the butternut sauce and stir. If the sauce is a bit thick, add about 60ml of the pasta water to thin it out.
  • Serve with freshly grated Parmesan, roasted pumpkin seeds, and sage leaves fried in butter.


*To fry the sage, melt about 30 grams of butter in a small pan and fry 6 – 8 sage leaves until starting to crisp up. Remove from the butter with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. You can drizzle the brown sage butter over your pasta for extra deliciousness
*To roast pumpkin seeds, spread a handful of pumpkin seeds over a baking tray and roast in 200C/400F oven for a few minutes until they start to crackle and go brown on the edges. You can do this directly after you have roasted the butternut as the oven will be preheated.
Servings: 2
Author: Sam Linsell




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  1. I made this yesterday night and it was really really good! 10/10! Thank you for a great recipe and it all came together pretty quickly! Definitely one recipe to make again!

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe as much as I did Eva

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