Pasta with Pumpkin,Italian Sausage, Sage and Spinach.

Perfect Autumn or Winter fare!

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.

Beauty Shot:

Valley of the Gods

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!



Lemon. Lemon Pasta with Roasted Garlic.

And add in crisped Prosciutto to take it to the next level!

Lemon. Can be sweet, can be savory, can be tangy, can be surprising. (Sounds like most women I know!) It’s flexible, resourceful, delightful. It’s malleable, takes on characteristics of what its paired with, and still holds its own. (Again, sounds like most women I know!)

This pasta is a quick dinner or side dish- and hits the umami spot just fine. Pair it with a roast chicken or grilled salmon and a salad for a complete dinner. And it’s great cold too!

Beauty Shot:

Lemon Pasta with Roasted Garlic


1 lb angel hair pasta

1 32 oz. box of Chicken Stock ( I like Kitchen Basics or Simple Truth)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (Takes 3-5 lemons)

Zest of one lemon (Use one of the ones you are squeezing)

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 cup olive oil

Optional: 2 T butter added to sauce when making. I suggest you do this!

1 large head of roasted garlic (process below + do this a day ahead if possible. Though does make the house smell heavenly!)

1/2 C shaved Parmesan + more for serving

Fresh chopped cilantro- good handful then chop.

Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste

Optional: crisped Prosciutto ( so good!)

Yup. Chipped the plate. Stuff happens!

Putting it Together:

Roast the Garlic: heat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is preheating, prep the garlic. Remove the outer layers of large garlic head. (might as well do four. For the extras, place the cooked cloves removed from skins into jar and cover with olive oil. Will keep for 2 weeks. In the refrigerator) Cut off top 1/4 inch and place bottom down onto aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Crunch up the aluminum foil to close and place into oven. Will take appx 45 minutes to roast to softness. Depends on size of garlic heads and oven. This can be done a day ahead to speed through lunch or dinner prep.

NOTE: sometimes you just want to eat this quick! On that real possibility, use minced garlic from a jar. It is not as creamy and does miss that carmelly sweetness, but it is still very delicious! Just be sure to drain the water from the garlic. And use 2 heaping tablespoons.

Pour the chicken stock into a large pot and heat to boiling. Add in a healthy pinch of salt. Put the dried pasta into the stock. To reach al dente will take about 12 minutes. Of course, cook to your desired doneness. Remember: save a cup of pasta stock water when you drain the pasta. You will use this for your sauce.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan. When it starts to shimmer, add in the red pepper flakes. Stir. Slowly add in the lemon juice, stirring while you add it in. Let simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors. Salt and Pepper to taste. Carefully add in the roasted garlic cloves and remove from heat.

This smells as delicious as it tastes! Note: I added the butter to the sauce-
another layer of flavor

Remember: grab that cups of pasta stock-water before you drain your pasta. Now, return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in. Mix in half of the pasta stock water. Add in half of the sauce. Toss gently. Add in more of the stock water and sauce till pasta is coated and glossy. Toss in 1/4 cup of shaved parm. Toss again. Pour onto platter.

Top with Parm, Lemon zest, and chopped Cilantro. Grind fresh black pepper. This is the way I like to eat the pasta, you can adjust the amount of lemon, red peppers, Parm. Make it your own!

Serve alongside hunks of good bread and butter, a simple salad topped with balsamic vinaigrette, (say romaine, sliced radishes and chopped orange bell peppers), and you are done.