This is a recipe I discovered while looking for something to prepare for the BakeSpace Challenge for October. We were supposed to prepare something made from local produce that is in season for October. Being from SW Ohio, finding a variety of local produce this time of year is a challenge in itself…I knew we had apples and pumpkins but wasn’t sure what else. Danielle (Cooking for My Piece of Mind and another BakeSpace regular) found a link to NRDC....Eat Local which contained lists of seasonal produce for different parts of the country. Well, unfortunately, there isn’t a lot to choose from this time of the year….in my opinion. I’m not a fan of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage), and that is what is available, along with peppers (I like them a little but not enough to use as a main ingredient), along with the before mentioned apples and pumpkin.
I decided to try to find something using apples and/or pumpkin, but didn’t want to use them in a way that I normally do….cookies, pie, cake, candy, muffins, etc. I wanted to try something different….savory instead of sweet. While searching for a recipe, I received the Food Network Newsletter in my email and it contained links to pumpkin recipes. I found several pumpkin pasta recipes and decided on this Rachel Ray recipe.
Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil -- plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic -- cracked and chopped
1 medium onion -- finely chopped
1 bay leaf -- fresh or dried
4 sprigs sage leaves -- cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons (4 to 6)
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg -- ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne -- cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano -- for grating
Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.
Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.
Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.
Onions and garlic
Bay Leaf, Sage and Wine
Add Pumpkin and Broth
Add Sausage, seasonings and cream
I served this with a whole grain pasta...I felt the pumpkin would go well with it.
I have to admit that I was a little concerned about this recipe. Never having pumpkin as a savory dish, I wasn't sure I would even like it...but I did. Michael wasn't quite as impressed...kept referring to it as hamburger helper....hmmmm. I think he really would have preferred a red sauce instead.
I will make this again, but maybe not when Michael is around.