If it’s not Christmas, there’s still time for pumpkin.
Thanksgiving is over. (And all the leftovers are gone, which makes it official.) Halloween is a distant memory – or at least a smear of body glitter on the arm of your black sweater. Winter doesn’t officially start for another two weeks, but by the temperatures outside, it’s already here. The trees are naked. The leaves in the gutter are brown and wet and trampled. Officially, I should be putting the cans of pumpkin back in the pantry and getting out the eggnog, gingerbread, and candy canes. Unofficially – well, it’s still high pumpkin season in the Especially Edible kitchen. If Starbucks doesn’t have to stop selling pumpkin lattes come December, I don’t have to stop making pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread – and pumpkin pasta.
And that’s what this post is about: pumpkin pasta. If carbs like pasta are the ultimate comfort foods, adding pumpkin to the mix just ups the warm-and-fuzzy quotient. Toss some sausage in and you’ve got an all-American fall dinner. No matter that the weather outside is, for lack of a better word, frightful. As long as I can pretend we’re only days removed from an Indian summer, with no real threat of snow in sight, the food (and fire) inside can be delightful.
1 lb. penne pasta
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
4-6 sprigs safe leaves, minced (about 2 Tbs.)
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 heavy cream
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmigiano cheese, for grating
Cook penne according to directions on box. Drain and toss with a dash of olive oil. Let sit while you prepare the sauce.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat and brown the sausage. Transfer sausage to a plate covered in paper towels and drain the fat from the skillet.
Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is tender and transparent.
Add the wine, bay leaf, and sage to the pan. Cook until wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and pumpkin and bring to a slow boil. Add the sausage, reduce the heat, and add the heavy cream. Season with spices. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
Return the pasta to the pot you cooked it in, then pour the sauce over top. Cook over low heat for 1 minute, until warmed through. Serve with grated cheese and extra sage leaves.
Recipe from Rachael Ray via Food Network