Pumpkin & Sausage Pasta

This recipe just screams AUTUMN, doesn’t it?  If you’re sitting there thinking that putting pumpkin in a pasta or savory dish is strange, well all I have to say is, “Don’t knock it, ’till you try it.”  When I first made this recipe it was mostly out of curiosity.  I was very intrigued to find out how the final dish really tasted.  But, once it was made and tasted, it instantly became a fall favorite!  We never go without making this dish at least once during the fall months. The way all the flavors come together is nearly indescribable.  The pumpkin flavor is there, but not overpowering.  The sauce is nice, smooth, and almost velvety.  It coats the pasta beautifully.

In looking at the nutritional information, I must point out that this is definitely a recipe for those that are maintaining their weight.  If you’re trying to lose weight and MUST try the recipe, you’re going to need to cut your pasta serving in half.

As far as the ingredients go, most are very basic ingredients that you can find anywhere.  I thought you might be curious to know what chicken sausage I used when I made this . . . You can get away with using about any turkey or chicken sausage.  However, I used Aidell’s Italian Style Chicken Sausage links.  I’ve found these at Costco and I’ve seen them occasionally at my local grocery stores (Macey’s is one of them).

Now, if you can afford the calories and you’re looking for a delicious and savory way to use pumpkin this fall, you must add this recipe to your list ASAP.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin & Sausage Pasta
Adapted from Rachel Ray – 30 Minute Meals

1 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 oz. turkey or chicken sausage, sliced
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup white cooking wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup nonfat half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
8 oz. penne pasta (about 1 ½ cups dry), cooked to al dente
Parmesan cheese, for grating (about 4 tablespoons)

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.  Add sausage to the pan and cook until heated through.

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. Reduce heat, and stir in half-and-half. 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 shaved cheese.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information
(Per Serving = 1 cup cooked noodles plus 1 cup sauce)
Calories:  412
Protein:  22.9g
Carbs:  42.1g
Fat:  16g (5.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  5.2g
Sugars:  5.4g

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