Yep. It must be autumn because Pumpkin is everywhere. And at times I want to shoot myself for being sucked into the vortex. Really. It does become overwhelming- candles, coffee, face masks, candy, lotion, vinegar, etc. It definitely gets overwhelming. However, there are times when it just works. Like this pasta. Subtle, creamy, sophisticated, velvety. And absolutely smells divine. My husband who is not a pumpkin fan, walked in from outside and asked what smelled so delish? It isn’t hard and actually comes together within 30 minutes. Do your prep first-It will make this easy when entertaining.
This is a worthy dinner party option- served with an apple/arugula/goat cheese/toasted walnut/apple cider vinaigrette salad. People will ask you for the pasta recipe. Make it.
Pasta with Pumpkin, Italian Sausage and Spinach
1 lb Conchiglie (shell) cooked pasta. Use a medium size (Hint: cook your pasta in chicken stock for an extra level of flavor). And save a half cup of pasta water/stock for the sauce!
1 Can 15 oz of Pure Pumpkin Puree (do not get pie filling!)
1 lb. Mild bulk Italian Sausage (Can go spicy if you prefer)
1/2 C Toasted Walnuts, chopped
12 leaves of Fresh Sage, rinsed and patted dry
2 T Minced Fresh Garlic
1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped
1/2 C Dry White Wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)
2 1/2 C Chicken Stock
2 T Tomato Paste
3/4 C Heavy Cream
1/4 C Plain Greek Yogurt
Pinch of Nutmeg
Shaved Parmesan for serving
Salt and Pepper to taste
Putting It Together:
Put 1 T of EVOO into large fry pan/skillet. Heat to medium. Put in the sage leaves and fry. Will go very quick. Like, a minute or less. Fry on one side for about 30 seconds. Flip. When they are crisp, remove and place on paper towel lined plate.
Put the Italian Sausage into the same pan. Cook and crumble till browned. Add another T of EVOO to pan. Add in onion and garlic. Cook till onions are softened and garlic is fragrant. Add in wine. Stir scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce just a bit. Add in the pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt and chicken stock to the pan constantly stirring to blend a smooth sauce. Add in the tomato paste and stir again till well incorporated. Add pinch of nutmeg.
Slowly add in the heavy cream. Stir. Take 5-6 fried sage leaves and crumble into the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Place the fresh spinach into the colander. Drain the pasta over the spinach. Pour the spinach/pasta mix onto a large platter or bowl. Add a 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pasta/spinach mix. Stir till coated. I like a platter or large pasta bowl so every bit of pasta gets covered in the velvety sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Finish with toasted walnuts, shaved parm and sage leaves.
Note: You can also use blanched, chopped kale.
Please let me know if you have any questions!