Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Total Time:
25 min
10 min
15 min

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:
  • 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

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 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 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:

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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    Made this for a potluck, and it was the best dish on the table, if I do say so myself. Made the following changes: used chicken sausage, mixed sweet and hot because, who doesn't like a little kick? I didn't have fresh sage so I used dry, was still very good. I didn't have wine on hand, so I replaced it with chicken stock.
    Loved this dish! Easy and delicious!
    Ok in Rachael's famous words....yummo! If you are looking for a fall pumpkin pasta recipe look no further. Very creamy and the pumpkin brought out the sausage flavor. Husband said one of the best pastas I ever made! 
    It is a bit better the second day so having leftovers was not a problem. A must try!
    I almost forgot. I also made the salad and it was so easy and very delicious. If you add blue cheese crumbles, walnuts and caramelized bacon it takes this salad to a whole new level.
    This is an awesome recipe. I have been making it for years now as an anniversary dinner for my husband and I. It's perfect since we have a fall anniversary!!!
    Once again my Sicilian Sister knocked it out of the park. Lovely, tasty and easy to make. I used hot Italian sausage and followed the recipe exactly. I will make this one for guests.
    Very tasty, and very rich and creamy. Good use of leftover pumpkins. I used a combination of mild italian turkey sausages and one sweet italian pork sausage, and added a sprinkle of chili flakes for extra zing. The leftovers tasted better than the freshly cooked ones for some reason, which is why i took a star off. Will make again, maybe with half and half to make it a tad bit lighter :)
    Fabulous, fast and easy!, my kids loved it!
    FANTASTIC! Love this pasta! Even my meat and potato husband likes it! I'm a pescetarian so I use vegetable broth and seperate my portion and then add the sausage! This is our favorite fall recipe!
    Forgot about the warning on portion size and doubled the recipe. Have tons and tons leftover. The recipe is very tasty, but rich with the pumpkin and cream -- so portion size if anything may be smaller than you usually eat. Substituted chicken sausage instead of regular sausage with good results. Enjoyed the spinach salad recipe that came along with this - very easy to prepare.
    Be warned. As she always does, Ray significantly underestimates the number of people a recipe will serve. You can feed 8 to 10 with this recipe (I've served 8 if you serve it with it's accompanying salad (doubled, dense, crusty artisan bread and butter, and a crisp white wine.  
    If you're making it for 4 or less, plan on having a lot leftover. But, this recipe is such a winner it's a leftover you'll really want to eat. In fact, we thought it tasted a little better reheated the next day.
    My husband loved this both times I made it. I don't really appreciate Italian sausage though, and we had to change some of the ingredients for our personal preferences. Overall it was good and worth keeping around.
    Made this for dinner tonight and my family loved it! My husband doesn't't really like pasta dishes but he really liked this. My kids ate it and loved it! Thanks Rachel! Another great success!
    I made this last year with Pumpkin & didn't think it was enough fall flavor so I made it yesterday with Buttercup Squash which was much better. At the end, I added a little brown sugar & cayenne. I also used whole wheat pasta. My husband loved it and I liked it but didn't like the texture with the ground It. Sausage so would make the sauce & do sausage links on top of it next time.
    If I had to sum up this recipe in one word it would be: FALL. I've made it the past two years, and it's a dish I plan on making every October. I've made it with both mild and spicy Italian sausage, I prefer the spicy Italian sausage. I've also decided I prefer omitting sage from this recipe and substituting it with italian parsley.
    I tried this recipe for dinner tonight. I was a bit nervous about the pumpkin but the flavors were delicious together, especially the cinnamon and nutmeg with the romano cheese. I added mushrooms and to increase the nutritional value, I added a few handfuls of baby spinach at end. Really wonderful!
    OMG...My husband said this is like something you'd expect from a five star restaurant!!! I used half mild and half hot sausage....gave the sauce more flavor! But wow...was this ever delicious!!!! Highly recommend. And definitely do not use dry sage....fresh is best.
    So good! I was afraid it might not be hearty enough for my man, but he had two bowls. My best guy friend loved it and ate all the leftovers! Don't let the pumpkin scare you off this one.
    This recipe was a winner and one I will uses frequently! I used scallions thinly chopped instead of onion, and I tripled the recipe, which filled a large crockpot with plenty left. HIGHLY recommend!
    This was very good. Nice to have pasta with something other than a tomato or cream based sauce. The cinnamon and nutmeg lend an interesting taste profile. I'll make this again.
    This is my favorite recipe ever! I saw Rachel make it on TV years ago and have been making it periodically ever since and it's always fantastic. I've learned a few things about it though. You have to use fresh sage. Dried sage just doesn't give the same flavor. I've also found a particular sweet italian sausage made by a local grocery store that works perfectly with the dish. I've tried substituting turkey sausage and other brands of pork sausage, and it just isn't the same (turkey sausage was awful. You can however substitute the heavy cream for fat free evaporated milk without any noticable change in flavor, and it's great with whole wheat penne.
    Excellent, easy and fast recipe. Great for serving to large groups or having a dish to eat for the week. It is a perfect balance of savory with a hint of sweet. The only change I would consider is using the entire cans of chicken broth and pumpkin and increasing cream to create more sauce. I don't like overly saucy pastas, but the penne soaked up all the sauce to the point that there really was none left. Adding mushrooms would also be a great twist on this recipe.
    Absolutely delicious! Changes: made my own Italian style sausage using lean ground turkey meat and added some squeezes of honey at the end to balance out all the savoriness - it's now one of our new favorite pasta dishes. This is perfect anytime -but especially on a chilly day or nite- it almost feels like a hearty bowl of chili, but instead of beans you are using pasta! Really delicious, the nutmeg really comes through in a great way - all the flavors work well-it's a unique dish that doesn't disappoint if you enjoy lots of layers of flavor! Definitely a must try it! Ps-there is a slightly different version on rachael rays show site that omits the cinnamon and replaces these onions with shallots-I tried it without the cinnamon 1st and found it to be missing something, when i added the cinnamon it was perfect!
    I was excited about trying this recipe, however the flavors did not come together as well as I had expected. Will be looking for a new Pumpkin pasta recipe in the future.
    This pasta wasn't a favorite, but it wasn't bad by any means. I really wish I would have added more nutmeg. I don't think I grated enough in to the pot. It had a warm kind of taste, but I think I left out too much nutmeg. My husband and picky brother-in-law ate it without complaints. Also, I made the simple salad she suggests with it, and it was delicious. My husband actually ate the dressing. He usually won't eat anything besides ranch. Overall it was good, but I think I'll only make it once a year around Halloween or Thanksgiving.
    This dish is absolutely one of my favorites, and seems to be popular among my friends. The sauce has a very sophisticated flavor, elegant, smooth, delicious.
    This is a great recipe and an awesome use of pumpkin! I used hot Italian sausage for a little extra spice with the cooling pumpkin (I used a full 29 ounce can to get extra sauce and also added two cups of mushrooms (mix of shiitake and cremini at the end. Because I?m lactose intolerant, I swapped out the cream for Silk Soy Creamer which my guests didn?t seem to notice as they raved about their meal. If you?re interested in my full non-dairy take on this recipe and others you can check out my entry on the lactosefreeladies blog on blogspot.
    I had been blessed with an abundance of fresh pumpkin this fall, so in looking for recipes, I found this one. WONDERFUL and very different! I used fresh Applesauce-cinnamon chicken sausage which I am able to get at my local Sunflower Market, plus I sauteed some slivers of red pepper in with the onions, and a small amount of jalapeno pepper ... I read somewhere that cinnamon and pepper make a good surprising combo, and it really worked. 
    My husband is not really into salads, but loves cooked spinach ... so I served the hot pasta dish over a bed of spinach, which wilted rapidly and then garnished with some fresh Parmesan. 
    Now I need to go look for more pumpkin recipes! Thanks Rachael!
    O o O.... Excellent taste and easy to follow and fix!!! Awesome!!!! thanks Rachel!!! 
    I had been craving something with a pumpkin base and stumbled across this recipe. I was a little nervous because I don't usually cook with white wine and I didn't want to mess up any of the steps. Let me tell was all worth it in the end! This is literally one of the best things I have ever eaten. Definitely restaurant quality! The only issue I had was getting the sauce to thicken (took longer than I expected. I also eased up on the sage since I'm not a fan of it's flavor. I will definitely make this again, and next time invite over a crowd!
    Since my husband loves anything "pumpkin", I knew I had to give this recipe a was absolutely delicious! I followed another reviewer's suggestion of using a whole can of pumpkin and I used half 'n half instead of heavy cream. It was really creamy! Even my 4 1/2 year old daughter gobbled it up! Will definitely make this again!
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    Fall Weeknight Dinners