Pasta with pumpkin, sausage and sage

img_6540While you could argue, this isn’t exactly the most appetizing food photo you’ve ever seen, trust me when I tell you, make this dish. It is creamy and savory and the fresh sage just makes the whole thing sing.

I stumbled across this Rachel Ray recipe when I was looking for Shauna Niequist’s pork tenderloin recipe. She wrote a blog post about her cooking club making this pasta dish. I was sold.

A big spinach salad with apples and blue cheese and a slice of crusty bread are all you need to make this a complete meal. I love recipes like this one that can be a stand alone meal or work great as a side dish. We had ours on a Sunday night with a salad but I would love to make it again for friends and have pork tenderloin to go along with it. I revised the recipe only slightly, using less cream than originally called for and a little extra pumpkin.


Pasta with Sausage, Pumpkin and Fresh Sage

  • tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound penne, cooked to al dente
  • Parmesean, for grating

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.



Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.


Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.


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