Here she is! I told you the pumpkin was coming. It was inevitable, right?
Fall is here! Also, can I please direct you to my favorite McSweeney's post - It's Decorative Gourd Season. Warning, it's not safe for work. I first read this years ago, but every Fall I re-read it and I still get a kick out of it. Mostly, it's funny because it describes myself during the Fall season. I'm not ashamed.
After I made this, I couldn't actually eat any of it unfortunately, because I had gone to the dentist and decided to bleach my teeth. Did you know that you can't eat anything with color for 24-48 hours afterward? So this pumpkin pasta was a no-go. Sad face! You know what else I couldn't have? COFFEE and RED WINE! Two of my staples in life. I'm crushed. I mean, I know these are the reasons that I had to bleach my teeth in the first place, but that's really not the point I'm making right now. Sadness!
Just because I wasn't able to enjoy this doesn't mean that I would deprive you of having it. Please go forth and enjoy this pasta because it's super tasty and flavorful (so I've heard). Note that it's not a super fast recipe since there is a time period where you need to simmer the sauce (yours truly definitely did not read that part of the original recipe...), but be aware there is a bit of down time when making this.
Pumpkin Sausage Pasta
makes 6-8 servings
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound Italian hot sausage, casings removed
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 10 garlic cloves, sliced thickly
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 3 cups chicken stock, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 pound of pasta (penne or penne rigate recommended)
- 6 tablespoons shredded mozzarella
- salt and pepper, to taste
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
1) In a large skillet, pour in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes. Place the sausage in the pan and break into smaller pieces. Cook the sausage for a few minutes, until it is mostly cooked through.
2) Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Place a plate on top of the bowl to keep the meat warm.
3) Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pan. Pour in the remaining 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and allow to heat for 1 minute. Add in the onion, garlic, and sage. Saute the mixture for 5 minutes, until the onion and garlic soften and start to brown.
4) Pour the sausage back into the pan and stir everything together to incorporate. Pour in 1 cup of the chicken stock. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
5) Stir in the pumpkin puree and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the remaining 2 cups of the chicken stock and add the cinnamon. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down slightly and allow the mix to continue cooking for 25-30 minutes.
6) In the meantime, cook the pasta per the directions on the package. Drain the pasta, then add it back to the pot. Pour the sauce into the pot and allow to simmer over medium heat for about 3 minutes, so all the flavors will meld together. Stir in the mozzarella cheese.
7) Taste the pasta and add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using, to taste. Before serving, grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the pasta. Serve warm.
--recipe slightly adapted from Lemons and Lavender