Penne and Sausage in a Pumpkin Cream Sauce

If you want the flavors of fall in a pasta dish, this is it. This stuff is out of this world good! It's very different, but totally worth me making another trip back to Zurich to get another 6 franken can of Libby's. Fresh sage is a must. Serve this with whole grain or pumpernickel bread and a salad for a meal you might just be making again next week!

Penne and Sausage in a Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Serves 6


  • 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pound (450 g) 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 (240 mL) dry white wine
  • 1 cup (240 mL) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (225 g) canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound (450 g) penne rigate, cooked to al dente
  • Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
  • Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment


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 tender.

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.


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