Pasta in Pumpkin-Sausage Cream Sauce
Pumpkin is widely used in Northern Italian cooking. This dish is made with a savory pumpkin-sage cream sauce combined with Italian sausage and pasta. It's surprisingly good and sure to please.
2 tablespoons olive oil - divided use
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 bay leaf
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup canned solid pumpkin purée
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces penne rigate, cooked al dente
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Additional sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, for garnish (optional)
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, deep-sided skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook until nicely browned. Remove sausage from pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain the excess drippings from skillet and add the remaining tablespoon oil, and sauté the onion for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.
- Add the garlic, bay leaf and sage to the pan, cook for 30 seconds and then add the wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and pumpkin, stirring constantly until sauce comes to a boil. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg, and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Simmer for a 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and heat for an additional 1 minute over low heat, tossing gently until pasta is nicely coated with sauce.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese and garnish with additional sage leaves, if desired.
Make 4 servings.