Right now, you’re one of two people: you’re either the kind of person who has heard of a pumpkin-sausage pasta and are super, super excited (if that’s you, go ahead and skip down to the recipe part) or you’re a skeptic that thinks I’ve completely lost my mind (if that’s you, keep reading right here).
The first year Andrew and I were married, we lived in Michigan. In the beginning, we knew no one, didn’t have any friends, didn’t know what to do…we were completely lost. I bought a magazine that covered Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. In it, was a list of the top 50 places to eat in metropolitan Detroit…over the next year, we ate at almost every one of them. My favorite restaurant of the bunch was this little white house in Northville, Michigan that served upscale fare from candlelit tables. I went back several times for the pumpkin-sausage pasta.
Pumpkins are just a type of squash remember (not strictly a filling for pie). The pumpkin pairs so nicely with the sausage, garlic, onion and Parmesan cheese that you’ll forget it even goes in a pie. Pumpkin is not sweet (which is what most people think of) nor does it naturally come with cinnamon inside it (Andrew Shull!). This pasta is an easy version of a fall classic that will have you eating dinner in no time and back for seconds as well.
1 pound pasta (we always use whole wheat rigatoni…you use what you have on hand)
1 pound pork sausage (or use chicken or turkey sausage…it’s yummy either way)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, just good old Libby’s canned pumpkin)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese…as much or as little as your family likes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper…of course!
Bring one large pot of water up to a boil for your pasta. Drop pasta in and cook 5-7 minutes depending on how done you like your pasta.
In another large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown and crumble the sausage. After sausage has browned, add in onion and garlic and saute 4 to 5 minutes. Once sausage and onion mixture is sauteed, pour in chicken broth to de-glaze your pan. Lower heat to low and let chicken broth simmer 2-3 minutes. Stir in your pumpkin and heat through about 3 minutes.
Drain your pasta and add to sausage pan. Stir in your cheese and that’s it! You’re done!
I’m telling you, you’re going to love this dish!! Plus, I love any dish that incorporates a veggie into my pasta without my kids knowing. If you have spare time, you could always roast a pumpkin yourself instead of using canned. But for me, on a weeknight, this method right here gets dinner on the table and my family happy in easy minutes.