Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 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, fresh or dried
* 4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
* 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
* Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment


Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion, as an accompaniment, recipe follows

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

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.

Serve pumpkin sausage pasta with pumpernickel or whole grain bread and
Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion.

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:

* 1 pound triple-washed spinach, de-stemmed
* 1 small Golden Delicious apple, quartered, cored, and sliced
* 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 1/2 tablespoons (a couple of splashes) apple cider vinegar
* 1 teaspoon grain mustard
* 1 tablespoon (a good drizzle) honey
* Coarse salt and black pepper

Place spinach, apple, and onion in a salad bowl. Place oil, vinegar,
mustard and honey in a small plastic container and fit lid on
container. Shake dressing to combine, 1 minute. Pour dressing over
salad, toss, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 4 servings

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