Pumpkin and Spicy Sausage Over Pasta

pumpkinpastaThis recipe is from my friend Jeanne. Like many recipes I get, it wasn’t written down. She said something like, “Cook up some spicy Italian sausage, add garlic, onions and pureed pumpkin and then toss it all with pasta.” If you want a few more details, keep reading.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped kale (or other green)
1 1/2 cup puréed pumpkin (see Baking a Pumpkin Whole post)
Salt, pepper to taste
1 pound penne, cooked
Parmigiano, grated

Method:

  • In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add sausage and olive oil and cook until well browned.
  • Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate to drain. Drain most of the fat from skillet (leave a little to cook the garlic and onions). Add the garlic and onion. Sauté over medium heat for three to five minutes or until the onions are tender. Add kale.
  • Add sausage and pumpkin purée and stir to combine. If sauce is too thick, add a little water or stock. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once thoroughly heated, add sausage and pumpkin mix to cooked pasta and toss. Top with grated cheese.

Serves four.

Click here to read my About Pumpkin post.

About Pumpkins

boopumpkinOne of my favorite fall sights is a sprawling pumpkin patch. They always take me by surprise. Amid the waning crop fields spring large bright orange orbs. It never fails to make me smile.

I like fresh pumpkin better than canned for several reasons. One, I like to buy things from my local farmers. Two, it’s one less can that needs to be recycled. Three, it tastes better. Plus, today’s centerpiece is tomorrow’s pie. You can’t say that about canned pumpkin.

It does take a little time to cook a pumpkin, but it isn’t difficult. I like to roast a couple small pumpkins at the same time, make a puree and then freeze what I don’t use right away. That way, I get the benefits of fresh pumpkin with the convenience of canned.

Like its winter squash siblings, pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A (as beta-carotene) and a good source of a slew of other nutrients, including vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese.

For display and carving, I tend to go for the big, ugly pumpkins with lots of warts. They make for interesting jack-o-lanterns. For eating, I pick the smaller ones with smooth skin. If you are baking a pie, ask your farmer what his/her sweetest pumpkins are.

Next up…how to cook a pumpkin whole