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Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

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  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs sage leaves, chiffonade cut
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or fresh grated
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente


  1. Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage.
  2. Transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove.
  4. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.
  5. Add bay leaf, sage and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half - about 2 minutes.
  6. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble.
  7. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream.
  8. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.
  9. Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in.
  10. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta.
  11. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute.
  12. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.