Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rachel Ray's Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Recipe name: Rachel Ray's Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage
Source: Food Network
Servings: 4-6
Cookbook date: November 14


  • 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,
  • 4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, chopped
  • 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
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon 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.

Tim here once again. The only substitute I used this time was nonfat milk for heavy cream. I know what you are thinking, nonfat milk isn't really a good substitute for heavy cream. That is what I thought as well, but the dish turned out great. Granted, it wasn't nearly as creamy as it would have been with the heavy cream but we both really liked it. I took the sausage out of their casings before I cooked them so it would be easier to break the meat into bite sized pieces.

I was a little concerned when I first read the recipe. I mean how is Italian sausage, canned pumpkin and a whole bunch of holiday spices going to all work out as an Italian pasta dish? Well, I'm still not sure why everything goes together so well but it does. You definately have to try this one. One word of advice, go heavy on the parm cheese at the end. Yum-O.

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