Your first reaction to this combination may be similar to mine. “What? That sounds crazy!” But once your kitchen is filled with the aroma of simmering garlic and wine, and then the combination of pumpkin, sage and spicy sausage, you’re going to realize that pasta with sausage and pumpkin sauce is a home run!
The recipe was made popular by PBS star and cookbook author Nick Stellino, whose authentic Italian cuisine has been featured on numerous television shows for decades. This dish is taken from Nick’s Sicilian roots and is the perfect meal for fall! We have plenty of choices for food and drink using pumpkin and pumpkin spices, from pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin cookies, cakes and pies.
But if you love pasta, this pumpkin sauce brings a whole new flavor profile to your plate. The subtle flavor of the sauce combined with a spicy sausage is unbeatable! This is the dish that made me a pumpkin pasta convert, and I hope it does the same for you.
Pasta with Italian sausage and pumpkin sauce
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 pound Italian hot sausage,
– 1 cup chopped onion
– 10 garlic cloves, sliced thick
– 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
– 1-1/4 cup white wine
– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
– 1-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
– 2 cups chicken stock
– 1 pound of pasta (penne, bow tie)
– 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a large skillet, cook 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the sausage and break up into small pieces. Cook sausage until it browns, about 3 minutes. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Set aside. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the oil from the sausage in the skillet. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and chopped sage.
Cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring well until the onion and garlic begin to brown. Add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes if desired. Add the reserved sausage back into the skillet with onions and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring well. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape the skillet to dislodge all the browned bits. Cook for 8 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well. Add the chicken stock and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water (add 2 tablespoons of salt) to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and pour back into the pot. Add the sauce and cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, gently stirring to incorporate. Add the optional Parmesan cheese and serve. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 to 8 servings.