Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

It was Jim's turn to come up with dinner. We had already taken some Jennie-O hot Italian turkey sausages out of the freezer so that's what he had to work with. Well he found this recipe and it turned out really good! The recipe actually calls for sweet sausage and we used hot, so I would like to try this out with the sweet sausage next time. And the recipe also calls for heavy cream but Jim decided to use Half & Half worked fine.

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk
sweet Italian sausage - we used hot in links but we just removed the casings
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream - we used Half & Half
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne rigate, 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. Saute 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.

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