Fall has arrived, and brought with it an amazing selection of new fruits and vegetables for us to enjoy. I am now buying apples, pears, greens, and pumpkin each and every shopping trip and am thoroughly enjoying the fact I am able to create new fall recipes with these ingredients. I do love summer, but nothing inspires a cook more than to have a whole new selection of produce to play with! Here in Umbria, we do not have the large selection of winter squash that I am used to back in North America, but as soon as the cool weather is here, zucca (pumpkin) can be found in every grocery store or outdoor market. Since there is no such thing as canned pumpkin here in Italy, I often buy the pumpkin fresh and roast it, puree it, and then use it for my dessert recipes. When I want to include pumpkin in savory recipes, I often roast it until it is tender, then fold it into risotto or pasta dishes. In this recipe, I was able to use my favorite skillet to cook the sauce from start to finish in the time it took to bring the pasta water to boil, then cook the pasta.
This pasta combines pumpkin that I cooked along with sautéed sausage, onions and garlic all in one skillet. The combination is flavored with fresh sage, then I add heavy cream to create a creamy sauce that melds all the ingredients into a very flavorful sauce. You can use butternut squash or pumpkin in this recipe, and the sauce works on just about every pasta type although I chose to use fusilloni, a large spiral shaped pasta that cupped the sauce perfectly. I’ll be honest, I made this pasta while my husband was away recently even though my plan was to eat very lightly while he was gone to try and lose a few pounds. I had very good intentions of simply tasting this pasta after I made it, and then discarding the rest. This pasta was so tasty though, that it ended up being my dinner three days in a row. NOT a great dish to make when you are dieting, but truly delicious!
Deborah Mele 2013
- 1 Pound Pasta of Choice
- 2 Tablespoons Olive OIl
- 1 Pound Fresh Pumpkin, Cut Into 3/4-inch Cubes
- 3/4 Pound Italian Sausage, Removed From The Casing
- 1 Medium Onion, Peeled & Chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
- 4 Sage Leaves, Finely Chopped
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Shaved Parmesan
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.
- Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat, then add the pumpkin and sausages.
- Cook, breaking up the sausage into bite-size pieces, for 8 mins, or until the sausage and pumpkin are beginning to brown.
- Add the onion, garlic, and sage and cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cream and grated cheese, cook for about 3 minutes until thickened, then remove from the heat.
- Season with salt and pepper, then add to the pasta along with enough pasta water to loosen as needed.
- Cook briefly, stirring constantly over high heat until piping hot.
- Serve in individual pasta bowls topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.